UK Caving

WHERE THE CAVES ARE - The Caving Regions => Peak District => Topic started by: Skinnymatts on October 01, 2021, 06:20:36 pm

Title: Spencer’s Level (Via Gellia) CROMFORD
Post by: Skinnymatts on October 01, 2021, 06:20:36 pm
Hi I have been doing a few of the Adits/mines and caves around the Via Gellia, Cromford area. I Just wondering if anyone had any information on Spencer’s Level? Travelled to Cromford today and set about knocking a few mines/adits/caves off my list and on entrance to Spencer’s level there are hundreds of bones.. just wondering if anyone can shed any light on this because After taking 1 photo I quickly dispersed back out of hole. thanks again! Skinny
Title: Re: Spencer’s Level (Via Gellia) CROMFORD
Post by: mch on October 01, 2021, 07:37:58 pm
That's interesting - I've been in Spencer's Level several times over the last few decades, the last time about 2 years ago, and I've never seen a single bone!
This must be a recent development. Any idea what sort of animal the bones were from?
Title: Re: Spencer’s Level (Via Gellia) CROMFORD
Post by: Skinnymatts on October 01, 2021, 07:58:53 pm
I’m sure I have the right one pinned. It’s just to the right after the wood bridge that leads up to goodluck? Definitely a fox living down there or something  so didn’t want to disturb it. Was a lot of big bones down there though😂
Title: Re: Spencer’s Level (Via Gellia) CROMFORD
Post by: AR on October 01, 2021, 07:59:48 pm
I was thinking the same - I don't recall there being bones in Spencer's, just lots of spiders! I wonder if a fox has taken up residence? As for information, there are several articles in old PDMHS bulletins about Goodluck and the other Via Gellia levels.
Title: Re: Spencer’s Level (Via Gellia) CROMFORD
Post by: Skinnymatts on October 01, 2021, 08:15:40 pm
Only managed to get a quick snap. Like you say the spiders are huge in this one😳 still didn’t fancy venturing down that tunnel to find a fox😂 yeah I’ve read up a little about it just wondered if anyone else had noticed the bones! Thanks again guys!!
Title: Re: Spencer’s Level (Via Gellia) CROMFORD
Post by: Mark on October 02, 2021, 07:06:21 am
Maybe this explains it
Title: Re: Spencer’s Level (Via Gellia) CROMFORD
Post by: wellyjen on October 02, 2021, 07:53:24 am
Or the creatures shown in that fine caving documentary The Descent have moved to Cromford and you've found their table scraps.
Title: Re: Spencer’s Level (Via Gellia) CROMFORD
Post by: Skinnymatts on October 02, 2021, 11:35:33 am
If anyone has any photos inside of Spencer’s level they wouldnt mind sharing with me would love to see the inside. Was the only one I’ve come across with stoned walls so far. Would love to see the rest of it. Thanks again everyone, glad I joined this group. It’s full of information and banter😆😆😆😆👍👍👍
Title: Re: Spencer’s Level (Via Gellia) CROMFORD
Post by: braveduck on October 02, 2021, 01:24:58 pm
If there is a Fox in residence there will be a very strong pungent smell at the entrance .
Title: Re: Spencer%u2019s Level (Via Gellia) CROMFORD
Post by: mch on October 02, 2021, 01:43:30 pm
If anyone has any photos inside of Spencers level they wouldnt mind sharing with me would love to see the inside.

As requested. Top is a few yards inside the entrance showing the stone stemples in the level roof, middle is the forefield in solid limestone at the end of the level and bottom is a cache of nuts in a small gap in the stonework at the side of the level, presumably left by a squirrel.
Title: Re: Spencer’s Level (Via Gellia) CROMFORD
Post by: Paul Marvin on October 02, 2021, 05:10:39 pm
If there is a Fox in residence there will be a very strong pungent smell at the entrance .


True they have a very distinct smell once you have been introduced to it  :yucky:
Title: Re: Spencer’s Level (Via Gellia) CROMFORD
Post by: Skinnymatts on October 02, 2021, 11:27:41 pm
Well in that case it might not be  a fox because there was no distinctive smell around the entrance!
Title: Re: Spencer’s Level (Via Gellia) CROMFORD
Post by: AR on October 03, 2021, 10:26:25 am
I don't think it would be a badger, they tend to be a lot cleaner - a bone scatter like that is usually a fox, but you'd expect it to be pretty pungent. The nut cache will have been made by a wood mouse, not a squirrel.
Title: Re: Spencer’s Level (Via Gellia) CROMFORD
Post by: Skinnymatts on October 03, 2021, 01:53:32 pm
I have no idea what animal it could be then. Some of the bones were the length of my foot and as thick as 2 fingers. There were scattered everywhere.
Title: Re: Spencer’s Level (Via Gellia) CROMFORD
Post by: AR on October 03, 2021, 03:04:40 pm
Another possibility is that a local farmer has decided to use it as a dead sheep repository... :ras:
Title: Re: Spencer’s Level (Via Gellia) CROMFORD
Post by: Paul Marvin on October 03, 2021, 04:44:16 pm
Another possibility is that a local farmer has decided to use it as a dead sheep repository... :ras:


Now that sounds very plausible   :clap2:
Title: Re: Spencer’s Level (Via Gellia) CROMFORD
Post by: AR on October 03, 2021, 09:18:12 pm
I'm thinking that because a few years back, I found a dead calf dumped in a binliner outside Spinney. Reported it to environmental health...
Title: Re: Spencer’s Level (Via Gellia) CROMFORD
Post by: bograt on October 04, 2021, 05:59:11 pm
A farmer is unlikely to put a dead calf in a bin liner before dumping it, folk are too quick to jump to the wrong conclusions, I would suggest people think carefully about following this line of accusation----
Title: Re: Spencer’s Level (Via Gellia) CROMFORD
Post by: pwhole on October 04, 2021, 09:09:22 pm
I found a 'rack of lambs' stuffed headfirst down a small partially-blocked climbing-shaft on farmland near Castleton that we were looking for - at least four pairs of tiny back legs sticking out. So we decided to leave it a couple of years and try again - though still not been back. But that was definitely not done by a member of the general public.
Title: Re: Spencer’s Level (Via Gellia) CROMFORD
Post by: NewStuff on October 05, 2021, 07:17:31 pm
A farmer is unlikely to put a dead calf in a bin liner before dumping it, folk are too quick to jump to the wrong conclusions, I would suggest people think carefully about following this line of accusation----
I know a few livestock farmers. Several are in my family, both retired and present. I spent a number of childhood years on dairy farms, we had pet cows, as the dogs were working dogs. There's pictures of a very, very young me riding around on one such pet.

If they find an issue with a calf (sheep, whatever) before it's tagged and registered, that calf doesn't actually "exist" as far as bureaucracy and paperwork are concerned. Plenty of reliable stories of less scrupulous types doing such things, though less common now than in say, the 80's.
Title: Re: Spencer’s Level (Via Gellia) CROMFORD
Post by: CJ on November 22, 2021, 01:13:39 pm
I had a quick mooch in there yesterday, I didn't take any photos unfortunately as I just saw this thread today. The bones are still there (skull is absent unfortunately). I can safely say that it's nothing human. The bones are incredibly clean and they must have been there for a while as there's no ground discolouration from any soft tissue decomposition. No smell/odour at any point although it was a fresh day yesterday and my nose was frozen. Maybe someone took a bucket of KFC in there?
Title: Re: Spencer’s Level (Via Gellia) CROMFORD
Post by: Cantclimbtom on November 23, 2021, 06:44:31 am
Isn't there a caving documentary about finding bones? Showing an all female team of caving experts who work out the cause of the bone piles? Think it was filmed in the major cave system of Hertfordshire.
Title: Re: Spencer’s Level (Via Gellia) CROMFORD
Post by: Tomferry on November 23, 2021, 08:11:10 am
Isn't there a caving documentary about finding bones? Showing an all female team of caving experts who work out the cause of the bone piles? Think it was filmed in the major cave system of Hertfordshire.


Now your starting to explore in wales you will certainly start finding lots of bones they will be stinking sheep !
Title: Re: Spencer’s Level (Via Gellia) CROMFORD
Post by: RobinGriffiths on November 23, 2021, 10:41:12 am
Maybe someone took a bucket of KFC in there?

Probably Bear Grylls having some lunch away from the cameras.
Title: Re: Spencer’s Level (Via Gellia) CROMFORD
Post by: Mrs Trellis on November 23, 2021, 03:46:02 pm
Quote from: RobinGriffiths

Probably Bear Grylls having some lunch away from the cameras.

Won't that be in a swanky hotel?

Back on topic they look like sheep bones.
Title: Re: Spencer’s Level (Via Gellia) CROMFORD
Post by: pwhole on November 23, 2021, 06:11:24 pm
We once found a sheep's skull in a mine, lying alongside a railed cartgate, about 30m from a climbing shaft up to it, and the entrance of the climbing shaft was only accessible from a landing on the engine shaft, and that was 50m underground. We never found the rest of the sheep skeleton, but we did find what appeared to be a fox (or dog) skeleton near the bottom of the mine at about 120m deep, but at the base of a series of interlinked climbing shafts. So maybe there was a 'battle royale' once upon a time, and they both lost. Or a miner had a taste for sheep heads for lunch.
Title: Re: Spencer’s Level (Via Gellia) CROMFORD
Post by: Cantclimbtom on November 23, 2021, 06:41:39 pm
When at some point I return to where I was on Friday I'll take an alternative route between 23 and 33ftm (rather than the "trade route" I took) and go looking for the horse! There... that's one upmanship on sheep carcasses.
Title: Re: Spencer’s Level (Via Gellia) CROMFORD
Post by: Brains on November 23, 2021, 07:10:41 pm
There is a sheep skull in Hillocks that came out of the fill in the Whalf climbing shaft when it was dug out, together with several other bones and some rusty pitchfork heads.
Pretoria at Bakewell has a cow skull (jaw, etc) but that is near the base of a filled in shaft.
Title: Re: Spencer’s Level (Via Gellia) CROMFORD
Post by: Tripod on November 24, 2021, 08:52:34 am
I found a complete Badger skeleton when involved in gating a Black Marble mine some years ago. Laid out perfectly symmetrically as though the Badger had found a quiet, peaceful dark place and just passed away. Finding the odd Owl skull has been interesting.
Title: Re: Spencer’s Level (Via Gellia) CROMFORD
Post by: T pot 2 on November 24, 2021, 09:50:11 am
In raddle pits mine in the level above the spiral staircase there used to be a full sheep skeleton laid out perfectly,  the level was 160ft below surface
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