26th October 2019

Report by Vince.

Vince, Brockers, Jake, Jon and Duncan.

Some of the team came prepared for the wet conditions and getting beyond the lake, sporting a variety of neo-fleece or old surfing wetsuits. Some weren’t quite as prepared.

While I went ahead and carried on with the digging, there was a pile of filled bags and rubble leftover from last weekends endeavours. The accumulation of debris was hauled away by Jon, Duncan and Brockers to Jake in the lake where it was stored awaiting removal later. I also wanted to check if there was any requirement for the further application of chemical enhancement during the coming week. It was soon apparent that this would not be necessary. Ahead the digging comprises an accumulated layer of fractured calcite flowstone and fine sediment overlying thin bands of more competent calcite. These layers can be levered off with a bar. Below these more calcite but slightly degraded and mixed with finer sediment, although some areas are calcited and need a more sustained effort to break it up. The loose material needs to be dragged back to a position where it is easier to bag it up.

Eventually, the call came from the lake that there was a considerable pile of spoil to be hauled out to the surface. The team moved back to start the clear-out.  I stayed where I was for a short while to prise out some calcited cobbles to gain a tantalizing glimpse into whatever lay beyond. It appears that we are about to intersect a cross-rift with a bit of an echo and some air movement, interesting. To the north (?) I could see some open space, albeit rather constricted, perhaps 2 to 3m, I couldn’t quite see what was in the other direction. We’re not going to get a better look without a lot more digging yet. I moved back to take over from Brockers in the lake. A total of 62 skip loads went out to the surface; 48 filled bags and 14 loads of rock to be added to the wall at some point in the future.

Those that had not been so well prepared grumbled about being cold. No-one was too sympathetic, and we made our way back to the farm.

The prospects in the cave look interesting, that’s a good way to finish a session!

Author: mendipgeoarch

Archaeologist, Geologist, Speleologist