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Belfry Hut Fees

The fees cover for both bunk accomdation or camping in our garden.
 
  • £4.00 per night for members
  • £4.00 per night for reciprocal club members
  • £7.50 per night for guests.
  • £5.00 per night for Students
  • £5.00 per night for members of our Partner Club scheme
  • £1.00 for day fees
 
Staying at the Belfry is cheaper than camping at the local camp site.
 
Updated November 2017

See the latest library catalogue below. (If you can't see it, click here to see it in a new window.)

The catalogue is in spreadsheet format. To view by year, author etc., sort by one of the columns. To search for items, use your browser's search facility (probably Ctrl + F). You can also download it as a file and look through it in your preferred spreadsheet program.

At some point this spreadsheet may get upgraded to be a full database.

There is a first aid box on the wall of the corridor in the Belfry next to the main bunkroom. Hopefully you’ll never need to know where the nearest hospital is but just in case you ever do, see below.

Minor Injury Units

  • Shepton Mallet Community Hospital 01749 342931
  • West Mendip Community Hospital, Glastonbury 01458 836450

A&E

  • Bath Royal United Hospital 01225 824391
  • Weston (Super Mare) General Hospital 01934 881290

 

The nearest town (city) is Wells, for all the usual services not listed here - hotels, restaurants, cafes and takeaways, chemists etc.

Local Shops

Mendip Garage

On the road to the Hunter's Lodge. Sells newspapers and some basic food items.

Weekdays 0730-1730
Saturday 0730-1200
Sunday 0800-1000

Mendip Heights Campsite Shop

A third of a mile past Priddy Green towards Cheddar.  Sells local produce, fresh bread and pastries
baked on the premises daily and to order, groceries, beer, wine and cider, greetings cards, Calor gas, ice cream and confectionary.

Monday to Saturday 0830-1000 & 1630-1800
Sunday 0830-1000

Closed between mid-November and the start of March. Open longer hours for main holidays.

Priddy Good Farm Shop

Half a mile past Priddy Green towards Cheddar. Sells quality home produced beef and lamb, locally sourced pork and poultry, cheese, eggs, sausages, bacon, chipolatas, chutneys, pickles condiments, etc.

Wednesday to Saturday 1000-1630

Supermarket

Wells Tesco

All the usual stuff plus a pharmacy and cashpoint.

Monday 0800-2200
Tuesday to Saturday 0600-2200
Sunday 1000-1600

Caving Gear

caveclimb.com

Sadly the famous Bat Products in Wells closed when J-Rat passed away, but Andy "Captain Jack" Sparrow has a caving and climbing shop in Cheddar. Still solvent at time of writing. See the website for opening times.

http://caveclimb.com
 

Pubs around Priddy

There are three pubs within staggering distance of the Belfry. All three serve food and real ales, and have open fires and beer gardens.

Hunters Lodge Inn

The Hunters Lodge Inn, also known as The Centre of the Universe, is probably the most famous cavers' pub in Britain. It is perfect for refuelling after a caving trip and hearing the local caving gossip. Roger Dors the landlord serves excellent beer, including Potholer and Butcombe, and cheap but good quality food (the ham pasta is particularly recommended). It even has a cave in the car park. To get there, turn left at the end of the Belfry driveway and walk for about a km.

Monday to Saturday 1130-1400 & 1830pm-2300
Sunday 1200-1400 & 1900-2230pm

The Queen Victoria

The Queen Vic is a traditional pub popular with cavers, particularly on Sunday afternoons when the Hunters is closed. It has a more comprehensive and formal menu than the Hunters. To get to the Queen Vic, head towards Priddy (right at the end of the Belfry driveway) and go left at the outskirts of the village.

http://www.queenvictoria-butcombe.com/ 

Monday to Thursday 1100-1500 & 1700-2300
Friday to Saturday 1100-2300
Sunday 1200-2300

The New Inn - now shut

The New Inn in Priddy is a traditional 15th Century pub. Slightly less popular with cavers than the other pubs. The locally-sourced food is a bit posher (and more expensive) than the Queen Vic. The New Inn is situated on the village green in the centre of Priddy.

http://www.newinnpriddy.co.uk

 Monday to Thursday 1100-1500 & 1700-2300
Friday to Saturday 1100-2300
Sunday 1200-2300

 

Other pubs

Ploughboy

Green Ore. Continue past the Hunter's Lodge, turn left on the main A37 (towards Bristol). The pub is on the left at the lights (turn left for the car park). Beer and food.

Castle Of Comfort

Take the Burrington road (left at the Hunter's Lodge) and go straight ahead at Miner's Arms crossroads (the Miner's Arms is now a private house). The pub is on the left at the next junction. Beer and food.

Wellsway Inn

Take the Bristol road (2nd right) at the Castle of Comfort. The Wellsway is approx. 2 miles on the left, at
the brow of the hill. Beer and food.

Old Mendip Coaching Inn

About 7 miles from the Belfry. Take the B3135 east from Green Ore until the A37. The inn is on the crossroads. Excellent food and real ales. Booking is advised as the pub is very popular (01749 841234).

Burrington Inn

At the bottom of Burrington Coombe. Open all day for food and drink. Try the Mdvenpick ice cream!



 

Subcategories

The Belfry is the home of the Bristol Exploration Club based in Priddy Village on the Mendip Hills.

We offer extensive facilities to visiting clubs for a mere £4.00 per night.

 

History of the Bristol Exploration Club

The Bristol Exploration Club (BEC) is one of the major caving clubs based on the Mendip Hills and has had its headquarters in an area east of the village of Priddy since 1947. It currently has a membership of a little under 200 members who are nationally based and in 2000 the club celebrated the 65th anniversary of its formation in Bristol. In 1935 member No. 1, Harry Stanbury, wished to join one of the caving clubs in the area - the Wessex Cave Club (WCC) - but was told in no uncertain terms that the WCC did not have people like him in their ranks! Harry, furious, went away and formed a club of his own, which was the formation of the BEC.

Before the war the Club prospered and its membership reached about 15 active members but at the outbreak of hostilities in 1939 the membership fell to levels that left the club in a dormant state. It was reformed with a new constitution in March 1943 and, merging with a number of smaller clubs, its membership reached about 100 in the late 1940's.

In the immediate post-war years, members were actively involved with the Cave Diving Group operations at Wookey Hole and elsewhere; in 1947 Club members extended Stoke Lane Slocker and explored the beautiful chambers of Stoke Lane II. In 1953 the club discovered one of the longest and most beautifully decorated caves on Mendip - St. Cuthbert's Swallet, access which is strictly controlled by the Club, via a leader system. Since that time the Club been responsible for the discovery of a number of Mendip caves including Hunter's Hole, Wigmore Swallet and White Pit Hole. Major discoveries have also been made in other British and foreign caving areas.

In its early years the club had a number of sections including one for those that were interested in climbing and hill walking and another covering archaeology. Today the Club is primarily a caving club and its members have been involved with many important expeditions organised by the Club or other National organisations. Members have explored new caves in Mexico, India, Ireland, Austria, France, China and in several important areas in South-east Asia and the Philippines.

Throughout the week members of the club are involved with a number of varied activities including rescue, surveying, hydrology, digging (for new caves). Some members are involved with the administration of the regional council of caving clubs which is associated with the British governing body for caving - National Caving Association - all members are welcome to join-in. Their efforts are recorded in the caving logbooks which commenced in 1943.

The Club has published a regular journal, currently called The Belfry Bulletin,  since 1947 and has also published over 20 occasional publications "Caving Reports" including in-depth reports on St. Cuthbert's Swallet and Wigmore Swallet.

In keeping with the Club motto, "Everything to Excess", all logbooks and early journals have been published on a professional produced CD-ROM - the first club to undertake such a task.

In days gone by it was tradition to sing caving songs and other tunes for entertainment. The back bar in Hunters Lodge used to reverberate to the sound of piano playing and raucous singing. Times have changedbut the songs still survive.

The BECs club song is still sung at the dinner every year and stands the testament of time.