UK Caving

NEWS, NOTICES & THE FORUM => Caving Chat => Topic started by: benshannon on June 25, 2020, 08:54:18 pm

Title: Deepest cave in England
Post by: benshannon on June 25, 2020, 08:54:18 pm
Hi guys,

I'm finding conflicting reports but I'm really curious to know, what is the deepest cave in England? I thought it was in the 3 counties system
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: aricooperdavis on June 25, 2020, 09:06:17 pm
I've always been told it was OFD, but I think your definition of deepest becomes important.
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: benshannon on June 25, 2020, 09:07:04 pm
Ofd is in Wales matey
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: Pitlamp on June 25, 2020, 09:13:18 pm
Without looking anything up - the deepest point in the 3CS is the bottom of the upstream sump at -63 m. The sump surface is 1 m above the level of Leck Beck Head - so the deepest point in 3CS is 62 m below Leck Beck Head level. If you look up the altitude of LBH in the new Northern Caves guide and also look up the height of the highest entrance, that'll at least tell you the total depth of the system.

GG is quite deep too - deepest point is either in upstream Deep Well or at the bottom of one of the sumps below Lost River Chamber.

The 3 CS Survex team - or Kevin Dixon re GG - are perhaps your best sources of definitive information though.

Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: Benfool on June 25, 2020, 09:24:58 pm
Pretty sure it's 3CS, Peak cavern, Charterhouse. All deeper than 200m with 3CS about 250m deep.

And to be pedantic, pitlamp means the bottom of the upstream sump in Gavel Pot For the deepest point. I'm guessing the highest entrance is Large Pot???
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: Pitlamp on June 25, 2020, 09:30:13 pm
Meregill to Roaring and into the Roaring Hole downstream sump is also a deep one - but not, I think, as much as 250 m..

Peak Cavern is certainly around the 250 m mark - Titan to deepest point in Main Rising sump (-70 m). The Peak District Survex team can tell you an exact figure.

Sorry Benfool - thanks for mentioning that - yes Gavel upstream sump.
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: Benfool on June 25, 2020, 09:44:20 pm
It also probably depends on where you class the highest point of Peak/Speedwell system as. If it's the top of the titan entrance Shaft, then i suspect it's deeper than 250m.
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: benshannon on June 25, 2020, 09:54:03 pm
So ukcaves seems to have 3 counties as the deepest in England as a few of you have said. So, the deepest without diving would be leck beck head?
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: Benfool on June 25, 2020, 10:04:22 pm
Leck beck head is one of the resurgences to the 3CS, so no way if getting there without diving. I'm guessing that the lowest above water point in the 3CS is bottom of the 4th pitch in gavel (which will be the same depth as the start of the downstream sump in lost John's), at about -190m, although to get there from the highest point in the system you'd still need to dive.

I suspect the deepest cave without diving is Charterhouse.
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: aricooperdavis on June 25, 2020, 10:25:40 pm
Ofd is in Wales matey

 :chair: that'll teach me not to skim read posts!
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: mrodoc on June 25, 2020, 10:54:17 pm
Pretty sure it is Charterhouse Cave on Mendip at 228 metres but I could be wrong.
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: Benfool on June 25, 2020, 11:01:51 pm
Consulting the Peak/Speedwell 3D model, the Top of the Titan entrance shaft (and pretty much the top of the entrance shaft of JH) to the bottom of Main Rising, is 267m - which would make it deeper than the 3CS (if the 249m value on Wikipedia is to be believed). However both the Titan and JH entrance shafts are artificial, so it would seem wrong to count them - there are much much much deeper mines in the UK (1400m depth!!).

The very top of Titan, to the bottom of Main Rising is 237m - which would make it slightly shallower than the 3CS. The deepest you could do without diving would be 166m.

B
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: pwhole on June 25, 2020, 11:49:39 pm
Amazingly I was just going to post exactly the same info - I'm glad I saw this before I typed it out ;)
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: ChrisJC on June 26, 2020, 06:46:30 am
Ofd is in Wales matey

 :chair: that'll teach me not to skim read posts!

Not wishing to be pedantic or controversial, but Wales is part of England, and has been since the campaigns of King Edward 1st in 1283.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conquest_of_Wales_by_Edward_I_of_England

I realise that is not without controversy!

Chris.

Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: Pitlamp on June 26, 2020, 07:07:41 am
So, the deepest without diving would be leck beck head?

I never really understood why some cavers focus only on the vadose zone. Just because parts of a cave system are water filled doesn't mean they're not there.

Or are you just interested in the depths of popular trips?

Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: maxf on June 26, 2020, 07:09:00 am
Another vote for Charterhouse, and you have to come out the way you came in...
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: mikem on June 26, 2020, 07:11:24 am
Not that anyone has been to the bottom for quite some time!
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: benshannon on June 26, 2020, 07:42:55 am
So, the deepest without diving would be leck beck head?

I never really understood why some cavers focus only on the vadose zone. Just because parts of a cave system are water filled doesn't mean they're not there.

Or are you just interested in the depths of popular trips?

Well I have an adventure in my mind that I would like to do. I don't cave dive so I want to go as deep as I can in England without diving.
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: Pitlamp on June 26, 2020, 08:05:14 am
Understood. Best of luck with the project!
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: Martin Wright on June 26, 2020, 09:05:35 am
In September 2007, Jim Lister and Mark Smith did a through-trip from the top entrance to Titan to Peak Resurgence, including dives through Far Sump, Buxton Water Sump and the Resurgence itself. This was reported as having a vertical range of 241.4m and was believed to be the deepest through-trip in England, if not Britain, at the time.
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: Ed on June 26, 2020, 09:27:35 am
Surely they are all greatest vertical distance.

Deepest cave in England as in deepest into the Earth should be compared to Ordance Datumn Newlyn.
    Somewhere in Portland or Otter hole?

As an aside does anyone know the "deepest" cave against sea level Datumn in the world?
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: PeteHall on June 26, 2020, 09:57:27 am
Pretty sure it is Charterhouse Cave on Mendip at 228 metres but I could be wrong.

You are correct, and you can make the full 228m depth with one 20 foot ladder and a single spit hanger!

Not that anyone has been to the bottom for quite some time!
Not been to the end for a couple of years,  I normally turn around at Jet Pitch to save carrying the ladder! From the conversations at the annual leaders meeting, I don't think anyone else has been to the end for a very long time... Real shame, as it's a great cave...
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: langcliffe on June 26, 2020, 12:16:03 pm
Deepest cave in England as in deepest into the Earth should be compared to Ordance Datumn Newlyn.   Somewhere in Portland or Otter hole?

Possibly Wookey Hole (circa -26 metres below OD)?
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: mikem on June 26, 2020, 12:42:18 pm
On that definition, I expect it's going to be some sea cave, but then the opo doesn't dive. (Although the Severn railway tunnel hit a massive freshwater spring under the estuary, that came from Wales, which must have been deeper than Wookey)

I doubt the equatorial bulge has much effect over the relative depths in Englandshire, but it does mean the summit of Chimborazo is further from the centre of the earth than the top of Everest...
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: PeteHall on June 26, 2020, 01:08:15 pm
As ever in these discussions, it would help to know what the OP had in mind.

I'm guessing something like highest peak and deepest cave in 24 hours.

If Charterhouse fits the bill for deepest (as in most vertical range without diving), I'd be happy to lead a trip to the end, with a few caveats, like the cave being open again...
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: Duncan Price on June 26, 2020, 01:14:39 pm
Pretty sure it is Charterhouse Cave on Mendip at 228 metres but I could be wrong.

Or 219 m to the sump - the rest is underwater.
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: ChrisJC on June 26, 2020, 01:20:52 pm
Of course, if you wanted the deepest mine in England, then I think the deep end at Boulby Potash Mine is -1450m

Chris.
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: PeteHall on June 26, 2020, 01:53:28 pm
Pretty sure it is Charterhouse Cave on Mendip at 228 metres but I could be wrong.

Or 219 m to the sump - the rest is underwater.

I reckon that you might get a couple more metres after all this dry weather...
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: mikem on June 26, 2020, 01:59:11 pm
& although three counties has a bigger vertical range, I don't think anyone has been from the highest entrance to the deepest point?
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: Duck ditch on June 26, 2020, 03:00:08 pm
I always thought it was Peak.  I remember not believing how deep Swildons was, comparing it to the previous weeks Meregill trip.   Has Charterhouse and Peak achieved there full depth potential?  I suppose theorising where the biggest depth potential is fraught with too many ifs and buts.
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: mikem on June 26, 2020, 05:03:03 pm
Pretty sure peak is close, whereas charterhouse connects to goughs cave at bottom of Cheddar Gorge (the end is currently near the top & the highest bits of cliff are 100m).
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: mrodoc on June 26, 2020, 05:03:15 pm
Talking of deep caves that need relatively little effort to bottom them you would have to add in Tatham Wife Hole. It was my first proper Yorkshire Pot but as none of the pitches were very long it didn't seem too demanding to a 17 year old (and his dad).
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: nearlywhite on June 26, 2020, 08:59:28 pm
Ofd is in Wales matey

 :chair: that'll teach me not to skim read posts!

Not wishing to be pedantic or controversial, but Wales is part of England, and has been since the campaigns of King Edward 1st in 1283.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conquest_of_Wales_by_Edward_I_of_England

I realise that is not without controversy!

Chris.

Not wishing to be pedantic but the local government act of 1972 recognizes it as a separate legal entity distinct to England. Hence the decision whether Monmouthshire is in Wales or England.

And Wales only really became a part of England in 1535 under Henry 'Tudur' - otherwise much of France has been England, (fiefdom is different from kingdom), the legal basis for incorporation comes from this time. This is only completed in 1746 where they have to realize they have to define Wales legally. You then also have things like the laws in Wales act that show that Wales was always treated as a distinct entity within the union, and that subsequent to the union of crowns arguing whether it was a part of England or not was epitome of pedantry.

Couldn't let it go - almost as predictable as the Mendipians insisting that their caves are the deepest/biggest etc but only if you add a qualification and exclude the others.
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: A_Northerner on June 26, 2020, 10:19:49 pm
I once heard that an oft-overlooked contender for "deepest trip" would be a theoretical trip from Maskhill Mine down to the bottom of East Canal (the ~30m depth of East Canal included). Can the might of UKC's corrective nature crunch the numbers on that one to see how deep that would be, entrance to bottom?

I know it won't count as the deepest cave, as Maskhill is a mine, and not even deepest trip, as other mines are deeper.
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: shotlighter on June 26, 2020, 11:05:50 pm
I once heard that an oft-overlooked contender for "deepest trip" would be a theoretical trip from Maskhill Mine down to the bottom of East Canal (the ~30m depth of East Canal included). Can the might of UKC's corrective nature crunch the numbers on that one to see how deep that would be, entrance to bottom?

I know it won't count as the deepest cave, as Maskhill is a mine, and not even deepest trip, as other mines are deeper.
According to my old copy of COPD, it's 693 ft (211 m).
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: alastairgott on June 26, 2020, 11:30:54 pm
if deep is what you're after. just do the trip twice  :lol:
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: A_Northerner on June 26, 2020, 11:53:04 pm
Consulting the Peak/Speedwell 3D model, the Top of the Titan entrance shaft (and pretty much the top of the entrance shaft of JH) to the bottom of Main Rising, is 267m - which would make it deeper than the 3CS (if the 249m value on Wikipedia is to be believed). However both the Titan and JH entrance shafts are artificial, so it would seem wrong to count them - there are much much much deeper mines in the UK (1400m depth!!).

The very top of Titan, to the bottom of Main Rising is 237m - which would make it slightly shallower than the 3CS. The deepest you could do without diving would be 166m.

B

Sounds like it's time you got back down there with a shovel then, Derbyshire has a crown to claim!
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: pwhole on June 27, 2020, 12:31:16 am
Most of the (currently) accessible parts of Maskhill are natural though. Only the entrance shaft is man-made. There were 19 meers allocated to Maskhill heading west, and only one of them is currently used. It does make you wonder where the rest is. And whether more of that is natural. Some of the shafts looked at in the 2010 Credit Crunch project must have been part of the title though, and they didn't go far.
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: Duck ditch on June 27, 2020, 07:14:43 am
Uh oh. We have a problem.  Best give it to boulby potash mine.
When does a cave dig turn into a mine?  When it was done? Use of explosives? The reasons it’s been dug?  Do we just include entrances? 
Meregill it is then  :)
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: mikem on June 27, 2020, 07:39:39 am
Or something that hasn't been discovered yet....
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: A_Northerner on June 27, 2020, 08:10:09 am
Uh oh. We have a problem.  Best give it to boulby potash mine.
When does a cave dig turn into a mine?  When it was done? Use of explosives? The reasons it’s been dug?  Do we just include entrances? 
Meregill it is then  :)

I'd say if explosives were used to enlarge a natural passage for exploration that's fair game. The system's depth has not been artificially altered by that.

Same with digging soil/stone fill out of a natural passage.
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: Duck ditch on June 27, 2020, 10:50:58 am
That seems fair enough.  Otherwise mendips would only have 3 caves. ::)  So Charterhouse it is.  Your in luck too benshannon, Pete hall is willing to show you the way  :clap2:  is it a good trip?
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: PeteHall on June 27, 2020, 11:06:47 am
is it a good trip?
A very fine trip by any standards  :)

I would allow 8 hours for a trip to the end, assuming that you don't look at anything off the main through route..

Definitely worth wearing a decent pair of knee pads as there is plenty of crawling  ;D
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: Pitlamp on June 27, 2020, 11:12:52 am
In case anyone's still pondering on the Maskhill to Giant's East Canal vertical range, I can confirm that East Canal is 24.5 m deep in dry conditions (i.e. when water level is at the level of the floor of the approach passage as you enter the East Canal chamber.
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: Duck ditch on June 27, 2020, 01:24:41 pm
I didn’t want to stifle debate  :-[. It’s so close one has to wonder about surveys.  Although this doesn’t apply probably with peak. Maskhill or Charterhouse. I remember a debate of where the cave began rather than the sump level.  I was wondering when the peakerites would challenge.   ;D
Depth potential?.  I’m going with black keld, wharfedale.
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: Tseralo on June 27, 2020, 02:17:39 pm
Consulting the Peak/Speedwell 3D model, the Top of the Titan entrance shaft (and pretty much the top of the entrance shaft of JH) to the bottom of Main Rising, is 267m - which would make it deeper than the 3CS (if the 249m value on Wikipedia is to be believed). However both the Titan and JH entrance shafts are artificial, so it would seem wrong to count them - there are much much much deeper mines in the UK (1400m depth!!).

The very top of Titan, to the bottom of Main Rising is 237m - which would make it slightly shallower than the 3CS. The deepest you could do without diving would be 166m.

B

Sounds like it's time you got back down there with a shovel then, Derbyshire has a crown to claim!

Or stick Rob back into cliff hangar. If nettle was connected that would give 303.81m.

As for depth potential it's definitely in the peak as the limestone goes down quite a way but you will need more than a few cylinders to do it.
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: Mark Wright on June 27, 2020, 02:55:24 pm

Or stick Rob back into cliff hangar. If nettle was connected that would give 303.81m.

As for depth potential it's definitely in the peak as the limestone goes down quite a way but you will need more than a few cylinders to do it.

Does the 303.81m include the depth of Russet Well?

Mark
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: A_Northerner on June 27, 2020, 02:59:54 pm
In case anyone's still pondering on the Maskhill to Giant's East Canal vertical range, I can confirm that East Canal is 24.5 m deep in dry conditions (i.e. when water level is at the level of the floor of the approach passage as you enter the East Canal chamber.

After having placed/collected data loggers onthe level of East Canal during flood conditions I'd say that the depth could vary from as little as 24.5m in the dry as you say, to at least 40m, as one particular flood pulse increased the water level by something like 15m in a single night. It's an interesting 'little' canal as you say. I wonder if it's worth doing survey work to get a definitive depth on the Canal relative to the survey itself. I don't think the current file includes the depth.
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: Tseralo on June 27, 2020, 03:00:02 pm
That’s nettle entrance to the bottom of main rising.

I don’t think Russet Well is on the survex model but to swine hole would be 273.76m.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: Mark Wright on June 27, 2020, 03:09:08 pm
I've not been to the bottom of Russet Well since I was a teenager but I think it was about 24.5m deep. Maybe Pitlamp has a better idea.
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: Andy Farrant on June 27, 2020, 03:18:00 pm
The region with the greatest depth potential could easily be either the Peak District or the Mendip area, it just depends on how deep the sumps are. In both regions the limestone extends to much greater depths than in Yorkshire. Some of the sinks in the Cheddar catchment north of Wigmore are up around 280 m, and the resurgence at c. 27 m, so depth range of 250-260 m, but Sump 3 in Gough's is 55 m deep (base at c. 28 m below sea-level), giving an overall depth potential of 308 m, but could be more (Wookey 20 is 90 m deep). But hypogene systems could be deeper still. The conduit feeding the Bath hot springs could be as deep as 2500 m.... just depends if it is big enough to fit a diver. Same applies to Buxton or Matlock thermal springs, both could be deep systems.
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: Tseralo on June 27, 2020, 03:18:12 pm
I've not been to the bottom of Russet Well since I was a teenager but I think it was about 24.5m deep. Maybe Pitlamp has a better idea.
The sump index says 25m but what’s 0.5m between friends.
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: Duck ditch on June 27, 2020, 03:36:29 pm
Langcliffe Pot to black keld is around 270m. So not completely out of the mix.  A higher entrance to langcliffe could be found and I’m not sure how deep black keld goes down.  Not 30m I suppose.

I’m going to get into hot water but I’m dismissing Roman baths.  :) 
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: A_Northerner on June 27, 2020, 03:49:37 pm
The conduit feeding the Bath hot springs could be as deep as 2500 m.... just depends if it is big enough to fit a diver. Same applies to Buxton or Matlock thermal springs, both could be deep systems.

I'll get my dowsing rods out  ;)
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: Fjell on June 27, 2020, 04:27:31 pm
Should do some prospecting, never know what you will find. You can get open phreatic passage several metres in diameter at depths of over 4000m in some places in the Carboniferous. Def what you might call paleokarst though given there are Permian deposits on top. Passage that has not collapsed since. Pretty sound rock eh?
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: Inferus on June 27, 2020, 06:47:36 pm
Langcliffe Pot to black keld is around 270m. So not completely out of the mix.  A higher entrance to langcliffe could be found and I’m not sure how deep black keld goes down.  Not 30m I suppose.
The depth potential is similar in the Malham area, Kuling Hole (tested) to Malham Cove is (based on altitudes in NC2) 277m, not including sump depth at the risings (15m according to the book, I'm sure Pitlamp will no doubt have a more up to date depth,if it has gone deeper since that publication), also not including possible connection to Aire Head, which is lower still.
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: Pitlamp on June 27, 2020, 07:23:40 pm
From memory, the highest potential entrance up above Pikedaw, to the deepest point (-14 m) in the underwater cave system at the foot of the Cove is around 310 m. (Yes, I think you're right Inferus - Aire Head Springs are lower than the deepest currently known point in the underwater cave system at the Cove.)

Again, without looking it up, I think the depth in Black Keld gets down around the 20 m mark in the final long sump. (Alexchien could probably tell us more precisely.)

Doesn't the limestone go extremely deep below ground in the Greenhow area (due to the proximity of the Craven Fault zone), with theoretical potential for great depth in the phreatic zone? Langcliffe knows this area and its geology better than me
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: pwhole on June 27, 2020, 11:56:24 pm
Didn't the Eyam borehole in Horseshoe Quarry confirm 1200m of limestone there to a basement of 'some other stuff'? I'm away so can't consult my files but I'm sure it was close. Not that it guarantees cave passage of course but it's a hell of a depth.
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: benshannon on June 28, 2020, 07:13:04 am
As ever in these discussions, it would help to know what the OP had in mind.

Yes this is the idea I had in my head 😁

I'm guessing something like highest peak and deepest cave in 24 hours.

If Charterhouse fits the bill for deepest (as in most vertical range without diving), I'd be happy to lead a trip to the end, with a few caveats, like the cave being open again...
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: benshannon on June 28, 2020, 07:20:53 am
This has been a really interesting thread to read. Lots of knowledge 😁 so the concensus is charthouse then.
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: Pitlamp on June 28, 2020, 08:14:55 am
Is it?

Mikem wrote:

"whereas charterhouse connects to goughs cave at bottom of Cheddar Gorge"

Has it been connected? Or does that mean "hydrologically connected"?

Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: Pitlamp on June 28, 2020, 08:15:44 am
I've not been to the bottom of Russet Well since I was a teenager but I think it was about 24.5m deep. Maybe Pitlamp has a better idea.

Your memory is spot on Mark!
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: A_Northerner on June 28, 2020, 08:37:48 am
Didn't the Eyam borehole in Horseshoe Quarry confirm 1200m of limestone there to a basement of 'some other stuff'? I'm away so can't consult my files but I'm sure it was close. Not that it guarantees cave passage of course but it's a hell of a depth.

We'd better get cracking on Layby Shelter then. Pathway to the Master Cave right there.
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: PeteHall on June 28, 2020, 08:50:44 am
Is it?

I believe it is, though a slip on the quote makes that less obvious. I have added emphasis to benshannon's words within the context that they were written. Hopefully this makes his original intent clear, for which Charterhouse fits the bill.

As ever in these discussions, it would help to know what the OP had in mind.

Yes this is the idea I had in my head 😁

I'm guessing something like highest peak and deepest cave in 24 hours.

If Charterhouse fits the bill for deepest (as in most vertical range without diving), I'd be happy to lead a trip to the end, with a few caveats, like the cave being open again...
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: mikem on June 28, 2020, 09:24:45 am
I took "Is it?" as referring to charterhouse being connected to goughs, which as we were discussing potential at the time, is obviously hydrological, it has not yet been physically done.
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: PeteHall on June 28, 2020, 09:47:29 am
Indeed.

Judging by the way the silt, sand and gravel have moved in the "dry" cave over recent years (flat out become stooped walk in some places) further downstream progress may be easily won now. Tough old carry though and there's no saying that the sump won't be even worse  ;D
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: Pitlamp on June 28, 2020, 09:55:12 am
I took "Is it?" as referring to charterhouse being connected to goughs, which as we were discussing potential at the time, is obviously hydrological, it has not yet been physically done.

Ah - thanks for clarifying that; I thought we'd have heard if these two major caves had actually been connected.

For anyone considering the potential depth from Charterhouse to Goughs Cave, don't forget the deep sumps, which must be well below the entrance to Gough's.

(Pete Hall - I follow your reasoning about contex,t a couple of posts above - thanks.)

I'm still pinning my own hopes on the Malham system. Although the longest known cave in the area at the moment is in excess of 1.8 km, it's still only a tiny fraction of what remains to be found in this Dales "last great problem". Something high up on the moors will go big one day.
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: Pitlamp on June 28, 2020, 10:15:13 am
I've not been to the bottom of Russet Well since I was a teenager but I think it was about 24.5m deep. Maybe Pitlamp has a better idea.

Your memory is spot on Mark!

Purely for completeness, you prompted me to look up the survey.  The deepest point is at -25 m but the immature bedding where the main flow comes in is just above the floor at -24 m.
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: Judi Durber on June 28, 2020, 10:47:27 am

I would love this to be a subject at Hidden Earth, with lots of diagrams and surveys by someone in the know   :smartass:  (which I am not  :-[ :doubt:  )

 ;D

Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: PeteHall on June 28, 2020, 10:55:40 am
I'm still pinning my own hopes on the Malham system.

And please keep it up, I always look forward to reading your reports in the CDG newsletter. Shame there will be a bit of a gap...  :weep:
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: Laurie on June 28, 2020, 11:20:42 am
Don't you have to qualify 'Deepest' first?
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: Pitlamp on June 28, 2020, 11:53:44 am
Thanks for your encouraging  comment above Pete - but I really meant the Malham area generally, not just the efforts of the divers at the Cove. There's a great swathe of land high above which has been largely neglected by cavers (with a few very notable exceptions over the years). If the same degree of effort was put in here which the Ease Gill system (for example) has received, I think a lot more cave would be known by now in the Malham catchment.
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: braveduck on June 28, 2020, 12:36:18 pm
I would have thought one of the deepest possibilities would be Pikdaw Calamine Caverns to the Cove .
In Pikdaw there is at least one natural shaft which must have been backfilled by the miners and other natural
leads also backfilled .If these connected with deeper natural stuff it must lead eventualy to the Cove .
Surprised nobody has had a serious dig in there  .
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: Pitlamp on June 28, 2020, 02:31:35 pm
They have. But there are higher entrances still.

Everybody knows Pikedaw drains to the Cove - right? OK - who? And when?

I tried to answer this a while ago. I couldn't find any reference to a test anywhere. It seems that this "common knowledge" can be traced back over 5 decades to Norman Thornber's 'Pennine Underground books where he makes a throw away comment about  Pikedaw's water going to the Cove. (I actually used this forum to ask about this a few years ago, in case this sounds familiar.)

My conclusion was that it had probably never been tested and the comment was based on supposition. There are other risings it could go to. When we were planning the BCRA Malham Hydrology Project in 2016, this was one test we had on the radar. It was rejected late in the game (in favour of testing other sinks) because conditions were far too dry at the time.

As that well known song goes (perhaps somewhat unfairly, overall):

Norman Thornber, master caver,
Wrote a book they called P.U.
But the book was like the author,
Full of b......t through and through!"


Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: Duck ditch on June 28, 2020, 06:04:20 pm
I was under the impression Terry Whitaker carried out die testing here in the 80s. Possibly under the umbrella of ULSA. Gorbeck was done.  Ftfagos too, as Terry Seemed to indicate to us when a few of us were looking at that squaller show, amongst others around the grizedales.  The draught wasn’t reliable.  Not sure about Pikedaw. 
Good shout for the potential depth record. 
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: Pitlamp on June 28, 2020, 06:24:04 pm
I think Terry was operating more with NCC folk by the 80s. They did some good work in the area but I wasn't aware that Pikedaw was one of the sites actually tested.

Be great if someone did come forward on here and tell us they have tested Pikedaw properly but no-one did when I asked the question previously.

There was a test attempted a considerable number of years ago but the dye got stuck in the pool it was placed in and was there for a very long time. There is water sinking away in other parts of Pikedaw; careful choice of injection point would be of value.

But to return more to topic, the depth potential here is certainly well over 300 m.
Title: Re: Deepest cave in England
Post by: braveduck on June 28, 2020, 08:27:04 pm
As the limestone extends right though to Coniston Cold ,are Air Head Springs the lowest point ?
What about the Lake at Coniston Hall ?What feeds that ,I am assuming it is spring fed and not
stream fed .