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More Pits Than You Can Shake A Stick At

A brief update on the Hutton adventure.

After the discovery of Upper Canada Cave our hopes have been high that we are in the right area for the lost Hutton Cavern. The number of pits, as described by previous hunters of the lost cavern are numerous and most, as we have discovered are dead ends but one or two prove to be exciting. 

In recent months our focus has been nearer to Bleadon Cavern where after two very shallow and boulder filled depressions were emptied and refilled we found a broad pit lined on two sides by miners’ walls. Some time back we had an initial look at a square cut section of rock that looked a bit too unnatural but rejected it after finding bedrock.

In an act of shear bloodymindedness we went back to it and found that what we thought was bedrock was in fact just a small slope before a descending natural wall, which we followed down emptying out as we went – that’s the chamber not us by the way.

The Cole Chute.

Scraping around moving material we found a triangular opening that led into a small space. When it was discovered that that went nowhere we unearthed a bedding chamber (appro’ 4ms wide and 5ms long) through cracked wall blocks. The adventurous N. Richards slipped through, donating his record collection to Harding should the roof collapse – it wasn’t the safest looking of bedding chambers - but was disappointed to discover it wasn’t going anywhere. It was named the Cole Chute after the landowners – who do go somewhere – canoeing mostly.

This is a rough map due to the fact that just before going to press Nick R was languishing in hospital with some mystery ailment and as he had the correct measurements in his notebook the above image is a rough editorial approximation only.

Nick R in the tunnel. The roof just up to the right proved to be less than stable

Further emptying of the pit revealed a sizeable bedding feature composed in the main of perilously unstable rock which adding a certain frisson to the digging experience. Pursuing a smaller opening roughly in a northern direction we found a small phreatic tunnel below a slab of rock. We followed this down, our optimism ever growing, but after a session we found with a hard slap of reality that it was pinching down to a too tight squeeze.

At the start of the tunnel beneath the slab of rock we found a very narrow blocked passage that looked as if it was heading to surface – it was filled with rubble. Digging in the floor of the entrance to the small tunnel and directly beneath the slab of rock spirits were lifted again by the removal of boulders – something appeared to be happening again but repeated removal of these boulders produced more infilling from the collapsing bedding.

When spirits fell again we retreated. Nick R tested the roof just above the entrance to the small tunnel only to have the whole lot collapse.

This dig has been abandoned due mostly to frustration. Although essentially interesting the slabs of bedding in this pit make working here a bit touch and go. Secondly it doesn’t fit into the descriptions referring to the entrance to Hutton Cavern. This pit may indeed continue on into the depths, it has that ‘feel’ about it, but interest has flagged for the moment and the desire to find Hutton Cavern pushes on to other locations on the hill.

By The Two Nick