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Mendip Underground – Appendix 1  - (Part 1)

The Hunters Inn             EP (Easy Pub)

 

HUNTERS INN (East Series)

Priddy. NGR: 549501.    Map 5

LENGTH - variable.     DEPTH - 3 inches

The entrance is located on the crossroads of the main Priddy road and the one heading south to Wells. There is ample parking space nearby and cavers are reminded that nudity is to be avoided, unless absolutely necessary. There are sufficient trees that can offer suitable cover for loitering. The Hunters Inn affords the caver a sporting trip with a few unsuspecting but pleasant surprises into the bargain. It is also a useful endurance builder for the nearby Hunters Inn Sink and Hunters Hole.   

Novices will need a lifeline (40ft doubled for return trip) to gain access to the first great chamber. The first great chamber on the left from the entrance is a roomy place. It’s decorations were once fine but have now suffered a bit at the hands of numerous heavy footed cavers making their way through. Just to the right a bold step affords the visitor their first look at the chamber, mostly out of bounds, called The Bar that runs parallel with this first chamber.

To the left there is a small table like feature called, naturally enough First Table, which can be traversed either by travelling over it, thrutching over a smaller structure called The Chair in the process or by the more sporting and regularly taken journey under it. The lower one is best situated to observe the stone floor of the chamber now worn smooth by the passing of numerous boots and evacuated liquids. Occasionally a surprise puddle makes the crawl a shade more interesting.

Coming up the other side one is presented by a low bench structure now somewhat worn, as it is a good place to rest. Thoughtful cavers often leave a mug here from which one can take a refreshing drink. Remember to replace what you take. A belay point over the alcove known as The Fireplace, (for obvious reasons) can be rigged, particularly for novice cavers, to afford easy traverse to the second half of the main chamber. To the left a small recess can be observed but as yet has not been pushed.  A deft one-handed swinging manoeuvre allows ingress to the second feature predominant in this chamber, Table Two, again named for obvious and indeed oblivious reasons. There is also a second recess here and that too as yet to be fully explored.

From this vantage point the second parallel chamber, The Bar can be seen with greater clarity although on particularly busy days the view is somewhat spoiled. Sadly, a heavy fall of bar room snacks has made this place inaccessible to all but the most brave or indeed foolhardy. 

Leaving Table Two is difficult as it requires a great shift in momentum to head towards The Bar. There is great danger of the caver getting lost at this point so it’s best to have one hand on the west wall for guidance, avoiding the stal curtain. This helps the disorientated caver find his or her bearings, as these are often lost at this point. It has been known for certain explorers to bypass The Bar altogether and in their confusion head towards the entrance. Tethering to Table Two also has its benefits but should be left to the discretion of the individual or team leader. Tethering works well for first timers and those of a reluctant nature. 

(Part two of this appendix may appear at a later unspecified date, Ed.)