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Towards Wookey Part 2

by D.J. Irwin

4. Beehive Chamber

Another good point for a good muddy dig is just off the stream way under Beehive Chamber.  This has been dug on a number of occasions. It is a choked phreatic arch of quite large proportions.  One of the disadvantages of this site is that bit is on the same level as the stream way and so has quite a drainage problem.  This passages seems to have been draining down from Pyrolusite Series before the formation of Beehive Chamber – which is a collapsed feature now heavily stal’ed over.  Before the water drained across this route it appears to have flowed upstream.  At the top of Pyrolusite chain the vertical wall above the roof of Beehive Chamber is markedly vadose.  The old stream bed is well marked at the point where one climbs to the top entry of Beehive Chamber and itself lies some 10 to 12 feet above the present stream way.  The level is the same as the point where struggle Passage makes its entry at Plantation Junction.  Is there a way out at Plantation?

5. Plantation Junction

There are several side passages at the top right of the Junction – just above the point where the Plantation Stream makes its appearance.  All are choked with coarse infill but in the short distance that they can be followed they appear to run along the strike; although the lowest of the group turns a corner as if it were spiralling downwards.

6. ‘100ft. a day’ Passage

Just below the Choke and opposite Bypass Passage is this dig.  Dug in recent years by Petty.  It is low, wide phreatic tube that is well choked except for a couple of inches of airspace.  Its interest lies in the fact that it is running along the strike, and being well below the Rabbit warren, could well lead to an abandoned stream way.  It well may have been the original route of the Rocky boulder stream that drained down bypass Passage.  The infilling has a considerable quantity of charcoal in it. Just an idea – will the passage take the full flow of stream if diverted into it?

What Lies Below?

Several areas have many things in common, but when all the points have been related to one another it would appear that there is a level at about -350ft. from the Entrances.  The Cerberus series lie at this level and does not appear to be directly related to the Rabbit Warren.  The water opening up these passages must have come from elsewhere. Derek Ford suggests a flow from Everest passage.  Is it possible that a large flow from Everest could have formed the Cerberus Series?

Just off Lake Chamber a passage has been forced and followed for about 150ft. last year.  It terminates in a static sump.  The general direction is along the fault line.  Recently the water from the Main Stream was found to connect with the Lake via the pool under Cerberus Hall.  Does this water, in turn, flow from the Lake to the static sump?  Of it does it must mean that a large volume of water is flowing slowly ‘up cave’ along the fault.

In 1964 Marble Hall and Marble Pot were discovered.  Below Marble Hall a series of phreatic tubes were found though they were mostly choked with coarse infilling they lay at about a depth of about -350ft. from the entrance.  The depth was established by the use of a altimeter which read -300ft. on the floor of Marble Hall.  Marble Pot ends at a similar depth but stones have been heard to fall a fair distance below the choke level.  The pot, about 25-30ft. deep shows signs of having been choked to the roof.  The infilling has now slumped the depth of the pothole.  Although it cannot be proved until a survey of the area has been made, but Marble Pot and Coral Pot appear to be on the same drainage line.  An energetic, more important, a strong party, could well commence a dig at the bottom of the pot with a good chance of finding a continuation of the development along the fault line.  A strong party is required because of the difficulty of returning through the squeeze at the top of the pot at the end of a digging session.  It may be that another way across the fault line lies in this area.

An Open Hole

A high level hole has been known for some years to a small number of leaders and is going to be attacked in a few weeks – the details will be reported in the B.B. when available.

It lies about 80 – 100ft. above the stream way by the Great Gour.  It has so far only been viewed from a distance – some 25 – 30ft – but is described a sizeable and appears to be running along the line of the fault. It is an inlet or the way over the sump?


Other Digging Sites and Holes.

All of the following sites will be most likely to lead to new cave but all within the present boundary.

1.                  Octopus Chamber – high level holes.

2.                  North end of Illusion Chamber.

3.                  South end of Continuation Chamber.

4.                  Aven above Hanging Chamber.

5.                  Rift in roof of upper traverse Chamber near Upper Travers Pitch.

6.                  Hole in roof of terminal chamber in Canyon Series.

7.                  Floor of far side of Extension Chamber.

8.                  Aven on the far side of Lake Chamber – entrance sumped most of the time.

9.                  Aven in rift off chambers in Pillar Chamber Extension.

10.              Tight squeeze leading to chamber on roof of Long Chamber Extension.

11.              Passage in large chamber in roof of Long Chamber Extension not pushed beyond crystal pool.