OGOF PWLL SWND NGR SN 76245 18343 (GPS courtesy Paul Tarrant) LLANGADOG
A 1827 feet L 4265 feet VR 215 feet Survey page 48. Equipment needed page 49
The cave is most conveniently reached from Herbert's Quarry near the highest point on the Brynamman to Llangadog road and then by walking on a compass bearing of 112° for about 2 miles (40-60 mins).
The cave was first explored in 1939 by A H Hill and Miss G Tudor, who were shown the cave by a shepherd. Until 1971, it was a moderate cave of just over 1000 feet in length, which, because of its inaccessibility, had a reputation far exceeding its size. In 1971 the Hereford Caving Club pushed the length to 1700 feet. A cairn was built at the entrance and the location of the cave no longer disappeared in misty weather. However, its reputation is now justified, the long walk in, with tackle, and the constricted nature of the cave, gives the whole trip a severe rating. A recent dye test, HCC [(28)] confirms that the resurgence is Ffrydiau Twrch qv., which is about 2500 yards south and over 450 feet lower down, suggesting that there is still plenty of cave to be discovered.
The entrance to Pwll Swnd is at one end of a short, collapsed rift, which continues inside the cave for 60 feet to a run in. A small passage on the left splits and rejoins at the top of the entrance pitch.
A drop of 25 feet into a small, bottle shaped, chamber, gives access to a small tube 5 feet up the left wall, which in turn leads directly into the main chamber. This is one of the largest parts of the system, although the chamber in the Basement approaches it in size. The old part of the system lies immediately to the left, whilst opposite is the way on into the new (1971) extension via the Breakthrough Tube, which, although gated, is not locked. This leads to a second 25 foot pitch. A sandy crawl (with a tight ox-bow) leads to Shatter Corner. Turn left and 100 feet of tight passage eventually leads to Well Pitch, 60 feet deep but only requiring 25 feet of ladder (can be free climbed), to a passage in the opposite wall of the pot. This leads to Five Ways Chamber, with a possible six passages leading off. The main route to the Basement is to the left, but the North Series to the right is quite extensive (circa 250 feet). From Five Ways, a hole in the floor leads to Z Chamber. Again, there are several routes on. A high level passage, The Gallery, leads to the Ringing Chamber. In Z Chamber, to the left of The Gallery, a passage in the floor leads to the Lintel Passage and up into the Ring Chamber. From Z Chamber, and roughly parallel with Lintel Passage, is South Passage. Where South Passage connects with Lintel Passage is Hidden Pitch (40 foot ladder needed), leading to the Basement and the deepest part of the cave.
WARNING: The second 25 foot pitch (after Breakthrough Tube) is rather tight and could prove very difficult for the larger caver.
Ogof Pwll Swnd survey reproduced by permission of the Hereford Caving Club. The full sized original (18 inches by 13 inches) is available from the HCC Hon Editor, W R Pye, Westfields, Lyonshall, Kington Herefordshire..
BC 4 69, 102-3; 6 50; 14 100; 19 80, 84S; 22 18-21S reprint of SWCC Our Caves No 2; 29 71; 41 17-18 reprint of BC 4 69 and BC 19 80; 45 67; 49 Supp 15 reprint of BC 22 18-21; 54 20.
CWM p 61
Descent (88) 24 the cave is 50 years old; (136) 9;
HCC (4) 1-4; (7) 8-9; (
19-20; (27) 3-5 (the big break-through)
HCC 21st Anniversary Publication 1973 55-60S; [(28)] 15-21,22, 23-25; [(30)] 5-6; 7-8; 11-12; 13-14; 17. Stratford 121-122
SWCC Our Caves No 2; (4) 3; (5) 3 A Cairn built to help locate caves; (6) 6 Vandalism: graffiti on cave walls; (70) 16 New Extension.http://www.cambriancavingcouncil.org.uk/registry/ccr_registry_view.php?ID=136