15th September 2012

With Alex. Walked across the field and up to the cave from the farm keeping a close watch on the bull just put out, he was far too interested in his ‘ladies’ to notice us. Got up to the entrance only to realise that I had left the key in the van and I had to go back down and collect it, again keeping a close watch on the bull. Very warm when I eventually arrived back at the entrance. Again lots of ‘mossies and midges’ in the cave. I went along to the end of Toil and Trouble (right hand tube) to removesome more of the loose cobbles and sediment that are hindering further progress, Alex hauled the skips from the base of Witches Cauldron and dumped spoil there ready to be moved on next session. It’s quite a snug fit along the end of the right hand tube and needed some hammer work to take off some nodules to make it slightly more comfortable. To the left and looking up about half a metre appears to be open space although narrow, as usual the draught is strong. Looking directly ahead along the right hand tube about a metre further on the roof apparently rises sharply and the sediment seems to originate from above. Prompted by this development I decided to take another look along the left hand tube to re-evaluate the possible relationships between the two leads. Cleared away a quantity of loose debris to open up the rift again and peered down to assess the prospects, again there is a strong draught coming up from the relatively open rift, although entry into the rift is too narrow and some work will be required to enlarge the top. There are also quite a few delicately balanced boulders that will need some very serious consideration before any access into the rift is possible. I am still slightly pertubed by the apparent lack of a solid wall directly ahead, it appears to comprise occasional boulders in a matrix of densely compacted sediment, there are also some long tree roots that are still growing. By now Alex had filled the stacking space and it was time to retreat to the Hunter’s for refreshment and to discuss the next move.

As I am helping out with geophysical survey work at Solsbury Hill with Bath and Camerton Archaeological Society next weekend we aren’t digging but we plan to have a long session the following weekend. The objective will be to clear the spoil from the bottom of Witches Cauldron and then remove the loose debris from both the right and left hand tubes in Toil and Trouble. I will also try and remember to bring along the camera and take a few photos.

Author: mendipgeoarch

Archaeologist, Geologist, Speleologist