Agen Allwedd - Priory Road Exploration

marsrat

Member
Will be posting any reports/logs we wish to be public detailing the continued exploration of Priory Road in Agen Allwedd in this thread from now on.

GLEVUM HALL AVEN ASCENDED

Afternoon all.
Just for public knowledge, the aven in Glevum Hall has been re-ascended by David Kinzett CSS and Alex Stacey CSS on 06/04/2024. A bolt at the top of the aven exists, but rusted over (and nobody knows who originally ascended up or that it was ascended so full credit to whoever that may be). Suspect it may have been the Willerups.
The aven is interesting for the pure reason that it supports the theory that priory road onwards is the lower level of 2 levels, with glevum hall being the possible continuation of the higher level passage from Ribbed Vault, Cathedral and onwards. There's an interesting possible dig site marked as 2 on the survey, but whether the draught is simply the air making a loop I do not know. A possible dig at 1 is also interesting due to the coarse sand, and seems to head towards Severn Beach.

I have attached a Grade 1b (note no compass, so orientation is not North) survey of the passages above Glevum Hall alongside photos (marked with a number on both survey and caption to signify what feature it is picturing)

Yours aye,
Marsrat.



SURVEY:
IMG_20240410_133444.jpg



LOCATION 1:

Screenshot_20240410-133235.png


LOCATION 2:

Screenshot_20240410-133224.png

LOCATION (TT rift):

Screenshot_20240410-133356.png
 

Duncan Price

Active member
..

GLEVUM HALL AVEN ASCENDED

Afternoon all.
Just for public knowledge, the aven in Glevum Hall has been re-ascended by David Kinzett CSS and Alex Stacey CSS on 06/04/2024. A bolt at the top of the aven exists, but rusted over (and nobody knows who originally ascended up or that it was ascended so full credit to whoever that may be). Suspect it may have been the Willerups.

It was originally climbed by the original GSS diggers, Simon Witt, Mike Green & the late Steve Tomalin. I went up there in the late '80s.
 

marsrat

Member
It was originally climbed by the original GSS diggers, Simon Witt, Mike Green & the late Steve Tomalin. I went up there in the late '80s.
Thanks! Will add it to the log.

Any idea on why the draughting scalloped tube wasn't dug?
 
Last edited:

Tritim230

Active member
If you can give me a rough date I'll see if I can find any write-up. Sadly, none of the team are currently active, with GSS anyway.
 

JohnMCooper

Active member
A list of trips to the Gothic extensions between 15-11-1986 and 03-09-1987 can be found in Chelsea Spelaeological Records Volume 19, An Exploration journal of Llangattwg Mountain, Appendix 2 ppII-III to II-IV (ie App 2 pp 3-4)
 

marsrat

Member
A list of trips to the Gothic extensions between 15-11-1986 and 03-09-1987 can be found in Chelsea Spelaeological Records Volume 19, An Exploration journal of Llangattwg Mountain, Appendix 2 ppII-III to II-IV (ie App 2 pp 3-4)
Will check out this weekend. Cheers John :)
 

marsrat

Member
12/04/2024 - 14/04/2024: Cathedral Continuation + Grade 5, Priory hole descended, Trafalgar digging and yet another aven ascended.

Evening all.

With another weekend over the horizon comes yet another digging camp at Priory Road. Relatively fruitful weekend with a provisional figure of 42.7 metres of virgin passage found (this is likely to increase), with very interesting leads appearing. So much to do, so little time...
This digging camp consisted of: Alex Stacey CSS, Paul Stacey CSS, Attis Fielden GUCA, Alex Parker GUCA. Brilliant efforts by all, but particularly from Attis + Alex P with their, "first proper 'ard caving trip" in Llangatwg and overnight camp underground. A lot of data here is provisional, will be solidified in the coming weeks.

For public knowledge (unfortunately one particular discovery will be obscured until we finish pushing it, but rest assured you'll find about it soon!). The team has surveyed the Cathedral to grade 5, uncovered and descended a 4.5m hole in priory road leading to provisional find of 9 metres, continued digging in trafalgar, ascended yet another aven and most interestingly uncovered a possible continuation to the cathedral giving us 30m of virgin passage.

Will go into the details below:

  1. Grade 5 Cathedral Survey - This was surveyed by Alex Stacey and Paul Stacey. Current provisional figure is expected to add an additional 150m to Agen Allwedd. The data and survey will be made public shortly. For context, this chamber is a remarkable landmark in priory road for the sole reason of how large it is compared to the rest of priory road and indicates a significant amount of passage beyond the choke.
  2. Priory Road Hole 1 - A drop of 5m in the form of a phreatic tube was uncovered and descended in priory road. This was descended by Alex Stacey. A grade 2 survey of this was created. One particular interesting feature is the possible continuation aswell as a noticable draft from one section. This discovery further highlights the theory of priory road being a multilayered part of Agen Allwedd. The flooring would be extremely easy to dig, and it looks like the too tight section can be bypassed. Perhaps if we dig enough, it'll drop down to another level?
    Untitled.png
  3. Cathedral Continuation - While surveying the Cathedral, a possible continuation with a preliminary length of 30m has been found. This possible continuation was first footed by Alex Stacey. To add context, this continuation may bypass the choke which has made exploration past this point unattainable. It was only preliminarily explored, but remains very promising and may yield rapidly to a crowbar and elbow grease. Details of this continuation have been omitted for the time being, my apologies!
  4. Trafalgar - It wouldn't be a priory road camp without a Trafalgar dig. We have pushed the dig by a further provisional 1-2 metres. The dig is now appearing to be now going up. Dig still remains to be sand and sediment, although we've hit the left wall. Rather interestingly we've uncovered 2 small stalactites which still have water hanging off them, so the passage was active as some point. Digging this weekend was undertaken by Alex S, Paul S, Attis F and Alex P.
  5. Aven ascended - This aven is likely to have been climbed by previous explorers, though still was interesting enough to check out ourselves. This aven is located in the small opening on the way to Glevum. This was ascended by Attis Fielden. The interesting feature of this dig was a slight draught heading up into the aven. A grade 1 survey has been provided. To reach the rest of the aven, bolting is likely required.
    AvenAttisWentUp.PNG
  6. State of camp - Six 2l bottles are situated at the top of the rope climb alongside camp equipment just for your awareness. A communual daren drum has been created with tea, coffee, fuel etc. This drum is available for any campers to use, it is clearly marked as communual. There are now 5 rollmats available for use in the sleeping area. All are welcome to sleep at our camp (assuming you don't make a mess or take our stuff!), happy digging.
All in all, I will list the numbers (bare in mind these are provisional and may change):

Total - 42.7 metres, consisting of:
  • Trafalgar - 1.6 metres.
  • Priory Road Hole 1 - 11.1 metres.
  • Cathedral - 30 metres.
More to come shortly!

Yours aye,
Marsrat.
 
Last edited:

Moonrat

New member
They are indeed, I was just trying to narrow the search.
Looks like they're offline at present... I got this !

Newsletters (searchable)
⚠ This content is not available at this moment unfortunately. Contact the administrators of this site so they can check the plugin involved. ⚠ This content is not available at this moment unfortunately. Contact the administrators of this site so they can check the plugin involved.
 

Tritim230

Active member
Looks like they're offline at present... I got this !

Newsletters (searchable)
⚠ This content is not available at this moment unfortunately. Contact the administrators of this site so they can check the plugin involved. ⚠ This content is not available at this moment unfortunately. Contact the administrators of this site so they can check the plugin involved.
Just let me know the issues or years and I'll get them for you. A perk of being librarian 😉
 

marsrat

Member
Afternoon all.
Please see attached Grade 5d image of Cathedral + survex.

Screenshot from 2024-04-25 12-22-08.png

Full copyright held by Chelsea Speleological Society.

Yours aye,
Marsrat.
 

Attachments

  • cathedral.txt
    3.5 KB · Views: 61

marsrat

Member
10/05/2024 - 12/05/2024: Breakthrough in Trafalgar!

Afternoon all.

With another weekend over the horizon comes yet another digging camp at Priory Road.
This digging camp consisted of: Alex Stacey CSS, Paul Stacey CSS, Andrew Thompson CSS, David Kinzett CSS, Andrey Kozhenkov Croydon CC, David Sutton DSS (now future CSS), Ben ICCC, Julien Jean ICCC, David ICCC. Brilliant efforts by all.

This camp mainly consisted of digging Trafalgar passage while we had the manpower, and safe to say after an additional 7m dug we began to hit a drastic change in the dig face (shifting from sand/clay to rocks) and it became apparent we had begun to dig vertically through what seemed to be the floor collapsing into the dig. This dig proved fruitful, with a void appearing above it and a fair bit of passage.
Of course, the digging-frenzy began as we shifted a huge amount of rocks from the dig face (and one particularly large one manhandled by ICCC up the slope 20m, lovely work!). With this excitement, Andrew Thompson had managed to whack himself in the head with his own crowbar causing a brief stoppage in the dig as we led him back to camp - with this a name for the connection would have to be called Crowbar Surprise.

We eventually removed enough material such that it was possible for the smallest member of the group (myself) to squeeze halfway up the hole - unfortunately it appeared that there was some slight mud on the stals and minor abrasion on the sand (so not virgin?). This meant that the passage we broke through into could have been one of three things: Daren, The Bunker or some other part of Aggy. Paul and Andrey stayed behind as to facilitate a vocal connection, and myelf + David Kinzett sped off to the Bunker to atleast eliminate one of the possibilities from the list.
As we made our way into the bunker, we encountered Paul's shouting proving we had just struck the bunker. While this was not the outcome we wanted, it still proved a useful dig.

The connection now introduces a 1h30 round trip from the end of priory road to loop back around to Trafalgar/Courtesan - finally providing a tourist opportunity to see the environs of aggy also. The connection also allows us to cut off 30 minutes of travel time if we ever needed to dig in the bunker area of Aggy. The connection will also allow us to form a loop in the survey, allowing us to rectify the survey error (we were meant to go under the bunker by 7ish metres and past it by 15m!) - this will help us determine the next spot to dig. There is a significant draught now heading from the Bunker into Trafalgar. The connection is not yet passable, this will be capped in the coming weeks.

All in all, I will list the numbers (bare in mind these are provisional and may change):
  • Total amount dug in Trafalgar from the start of the dig to the connection: 17m.
Yours aye,
Marsrat.
 
Last edited:

marsrat

Member
17/05/2024-19/05/2024: Bunker & Isles Inlet & Cave Link test

Afternoon, it's a short one. This digging camp consisted of: Alex Stacey CSS, David Sutton DSS, Andrew Mitchell RUCC (didn't dig), Benedict Hyland SWCC and Callum Fawkes UBSS.

This camp mainly consisted of hauling more supplies in for the next major digging camp by the core team alongside pushing any obvious leads left over from the reports and word of mouth in the Bunker. Ever since Trafalgar was connected, air flow has been great in both Isles inlet and the Bunker - facilitating any future digging (where before from the logs, Bunker was notorious for bad air). We ascended the aven to check out the supposed sand filled phreatic tube first noted by the Willerups, unfortunately this was a dead end (solid wall). Bunker lower level was fully explored, with a large surface area of low level sand, some stals and eventually a clay infill at the end of the hill sloping down - it is unlikely this will be dug anytime soon.

I was put into contact with Dan Thorne from CRO who understood that we were aiming to head to priory road this weekend, and as such to facilitate any cave rescues in the future this side of Aggy - I was given a cave link to set up near Synchronicity as a test. This test was successful from above the rope climb, facilitating communications.

Myself and David Sutton collapsed the trafalgar backwall as to make it passable (yay!), but now the spoil is blocking the way on (no!) - it'll need hauling out next trip but the connection definitely reduces the travel time from priory camp to the Bunker.

We noted that in a possible isles inlet continuation there lay a flake blocking the way on, it was attempted by myself and Benedict Hyland in nothing but underwear (oversuits are too constrictive!) to smash the flake to enable a way on but it is looking like it will require capping.

I'll upload some photos to make up for the lack of progress.

1715715475724.jpg


IMG_20240518_192436.jpg



1715715631212.jpg


1715715483150.jpg


Forgot to mention, I am creating a journal for exploration this side of Aggy for posterity sake.

Yours aye,
Marsrat.
 

The Old Ruminator

Well-known member
Odd that Willerup just stopped. The blog was a good read. I think a couple were fell runners and exceptioally good at " Speed Caving ". I remember looking at Isles many years ago and thought it promising. Did some digging at the end of Priory Road but got stuck. Far too old now.
 

marsrat

Member
Odd that Willerup just stopped. The blog was a good read. I think a couple were fell runners and exceptioally good at " Speed Caving ". I remember looking at Isles many years ago and thought it promising. Did some digging at the end of Priory Road but got stuck. Far too old now.
Think it was a combination of not finding anything in Grolsch, and suddenly finding Trafalgar + the Courtesan - perfect time to stop I reckon.
 
Top