Author Topic: Mystery Photo of Puttrell  (Read 4261 times)

Offline yrammy

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Mystery Photo of Puttrell
« on: September 23, 2020, 03:05:11 pm »
The British Caving library has been contacted by someone who wants to identify the cave/mine in the attached photo.

The picture shows James W Puttrell at an unidentified cave entrance and can be found on 'Picture Sheffield'. 

Do you recognise the cave/mine entrance?

We have ruled out Lathkill Head and Great Douk.  Could it have been in a quarry - not blasted away?

Thanks
Mary

Offline Alex

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Re: Mystery Photo of Puttrell
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2020, 03:42:35 pm »
Could it be Scoska cave, in Upper Littondale? Unfortunately, I can't find any photos taken from that angle but it does look possible from the photos I have seen.
Anything I say is represents my own opinion and not that of a any club/organisation that I am a member of (unless its good of course)

Offline Simon Beck

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Re: Mystery Photo of Puttrell
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2020, 04:31:05 pm »
Could it be Scoska cave, in Upper Littondale? Unfortunately, I can't find any photos taken from that angle but it does look possible from the photos I have seen.

I agreed, but after looking at my own photos of the entrance pretty certain it isn't.

Offline Alex

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Re: Mystery Photo of Puttrell
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2020, 04:43:48 pm »
Hmm, then what about Allt nan Uamh Bone Caves, in Scotland?



The roof etc seems to match, if the dark bit shown on the original is the roof, just view it from the left.
Anything I say is represents my own opinion and not that of a any club/organisation that I am a member of (unless its good of course)

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Mystery Photo of Puttrell
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2020, 05:20:43 pm »
It's certainly not Scoska. I'm not convinced about the Scottish cave either as the beds in the Puttrell picture are horizontal. If that's Puttrell it's very likely to be somewhere in the White Peak.  Mary may be right; it could have been quarried away now (in which case, maybe one of those lost to quarrying in Stoney Middleton Dale?).

Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: Mystery Photo of Puttrell
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2020, 05:33:15 pm »
Very much doubt it is the Bone Caves

Offline pwhole

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Re: Mystery Photo of Puttrell
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2020, 05:54:35 pm »
He looks quite old in the shot, so likely to be 1920s onwards - he died in 1939. I'm sure the JP Craddock biography mentions them visiting a cave in South Derbyshire that was then removed by quarrying, but I don't have a copy. My guess if it's Derbyshire is that it's closer to the BCL than Castleton!

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Mystery Photo of Puttrell
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2020, 06:41:57 pm »
I have that book, as I helped the author by supplying information at the time. If you can give me any further pointers I'll happily have a glance through.

Offline yrammy

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Re: Mystery Photo of Puttrell
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2020, 08:11:39 am »
Thanks, but  Clive Westlake has been through that book for us and there are no clues inside :-(

Offline rob4206m

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Re: Mystery Photo of Puttrell
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2020, 11:21:09 pm »
I've just spoken to my Dad who looks after the Derbyshire Pennine Club records. Apparently this photograph is captioned Thirst House, Deepdale circa Oct 1926. However, a quick search online suggests it looks nothing like that if it is indeed a photo of the entrance? Something nearby?

Offline grahams

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Re: Mystery Photo of Puttrell
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2020, 08:31:33 am »
The photo does look like Thirst House Cave from some angles. Take a look at the image by the themodernantiquarian https://www.themodernantiquarian.com/site/5192/thirst_house.html.
Bearing in mind that the image has very high contrast and that it's difficult to discern the size of the cave entrance, it could also be Victoria Cave.
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Online mikem

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Re: Mystery Photo of Puttrell
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2020, 09:24:12 am »
Thirst House should show a shoulder of rock in each corner & Victoria cave is much larger (even before it was fully opened up). Worth considering that old prints were sometimes developed as a mirror image.

Offline SamT

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Re: Mystery Photo of Puttrell
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2020, 11:13:38 am »
Looks very "Peaky" type limestone.

wouldn't surprise me if its somewhere that's been quarried away by now. either in stoney, Eldon hill, (Earles/Blue Circle/Lafarge/Hope/Breedon or what ever its called these days)

Offline pwhole

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Re: Mystery Photo of Puttrell
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2020, 11:55:35 am »
Earle's Quarry (the precursor to Hope cement) was opened in 1929, and they started work in the corner nearest Pindale, so if it was there they would have to have been quick! I saw some wonderful aerial shots of the quarry taken over each decade in the manager's office a few years ago, and the photo of the first iteration was great - lots of cranes and tin huts but not much else. That said, I'm reasonably confident there's a buried system around there due to a certain draught I've noticed, which was enough to blow my hat off.

Victoria Cave is much larger (if we're talking about the Yorkshire Dales one), and has a bunch of solution pockets to the right of it.

Offline Katie

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Re: Mystery Photo of Puttrell
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2020, 12:01:44 pm »
Interesting it was labelled Thirsk house cave. It doesn't look much like the entrance to me, but maybe worth a wander around Deep dale as there are other entrances that I have never paid much attention to!
To me the limestone at the top of the entrance looks very sharp and pointy which makes me think it may have been a recent find, probably from blasting in a quarry.

Online AR

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Re: Mystery Photo of Puttrell
« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2020, 01:06:38 pm »
Topley Pike Quarry was already in existence by 1926 so possibly the photo was taken there, showing a long-removed bit of cave? Might try and get over to Deepdale at some point this weekend and have a proper look at the various entrances.
Dirty old mines need love too....

Offline phizz4

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Re: Mystery Photo of Puttrell
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2020, 09:21:10 pm »
Don't forget that access along the dale has been diverted due to landscaping efforts (until 2026 according to the signs), if you approach from the A6 end.

Offline Jenny P

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Re: Mystery Photo of Puttrell
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2020, 09:37:51 pm »
I had wondered if it might have been the entrance to Great Douk, taken by someone standing below at the base of the shakehole.  What appears to be a sort of path leading out of the cave to the right  could, possibly, be where the stream comes out if it was taken when there was almost no water in it.  It's a long time since I've seen Great Douk though so I'm really not sure.

I can't think of a Derbyshire site which looks anything like this - there aren't that many open entrances you could stand in like this and have a photo taken from that angle.  It's not Lathkill Head and I'm pretty sure it's not Thirst House or Frank i' th' Rocks Cave or Harborough Rocks Cave.  I wondered about something in the Manifold Valley but can't think of anything like this.  There is a cave in Deepdale on the opposite side to Thirst House cave, high up and hidden by nettles, but that's much smaller I think.

Did Puttrell ever visit Ireland?  If so, could it be somewhere there?

Offline T pot 2

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Re: Mystery Photo of Puttrell
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2020, 10:09:07 pm »
Blackwell Dale cave perhaps.

Offline pwhole

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Re: Mystery Photo of Puttrell
« Reply #19 on: September 26, 2020, 01:14:55 am »
It's not Great Douk. Unless they trimmed the edges off when they shoved that big rock in to try and block the entrance ;)

Online mikem

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Re: Mystery Photo of Puttrell
« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2020, 08:03:33 am »
Blackwell Dale report notes 2 caves & 2 rock shelters (but only online pics seem to show a long, low entrance):
https://her.derbyshire.gov.uk/Monument/MDR8815

Offline T pot 2

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Re: Mystery Photo of Puttrell
« Reply #21 on: September 26, 2020, 09:59:41 am »
Stand at road level and look up standing slightly to left of entrance.

Online AR

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Re: Mystery Photo of Puttrell
« Reply #22 on: September 26, 2020, 08:23:55 pm »
It's definitely not Thirst House, attached is a photo I took today of the entrance. I also don't think it's Blackwell Dale, that has low bedding plane cave at floor level visible at the entrance but there's no sign of that on the photo. I'm thinking that it was something that had been exposed in one of the Wye valley quarries but has since disappeared.

Dirty old mines need love too....

Offline Jenny P

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Re: Mystery Photo of Puttrell
« Reply #23 on: September 30, 2020, 03:14:15 pm »
Definitely not Blackwell Dale Cave.

(I agree that it's not Great Douk - I was misremembering and it's a long time since I was there.)

Not Thirst House Deepdale either, even if it does say that on the back of the photo; and it doesn't really look right for the cave entrance high up on the opposite side of the dale.  However, the date could be correct and it might be something lower down Deep Dale which has since been removed or buried by waste from the Topley Pike Quarry, as AR has suggested.


Offline grahams

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Re: Mystery Photo of Puttrell
« Reply #24 on: September 30, 2020, 04:23:07 pm »
The photo caption is correct, it is Thirst House Cave. Bear in mind that the photo of Puttrell has very high contrast and has no scale - the far wall of the cave could be 5 feet away or 35 feet.

The giveaways are the column of rock and the four beddings directly opposite Puttrell to the right of the photo. These can clearly be seen on AR's photo. The column of rock on Puttrell's photo shows no detail as it is completely blown out by the high contrast. Features of the wall to the left of the column at the height of Puttrell's knees and chest can also be seen on AR's photo.

Having spent many hours poking around in Deepdale, I'd be very surprised if anything on the dale sides of such a size has been buried.
Sceptics wanted!

 

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