Little Waterfall Swallet

JonP

Well-known member


Little Waterfall Swallet lies 100m to the east of Waterfall Hole in the backyard of a private residence. It’s a sizeable, elongated shakehole which takes a large stream in wet weather. Although, unlike its neighbour, it never backs up. The water sinks in a few different spots along the southern edge where little digging activity has taken place over the years owing to strict access. Most recently the TSG had an attempt in the early 90’s but shoring and relationships soon failed and the dig was abandoned.

Mark Noble has always kept a keen eye on the location and its ownership. Over the years he’s built up trust with numerous landowners and managed to obtain a ‘feet on the ground’ relationship. Alongside the recent discovery of the Stoney Middleton Master Cave (Cussey Pot) a dye tracing project was carried out by John Gunn and members of the Eldon, this confirmed that the water sinking in this location drained to the SMMC and surprisingly Watergrove Sough in Stoney Dale, thus massively increasing its potential! Further encouraged by a video presented to us by Mark showing vast amounts of water sinking down a tiny hole (and not backing up), Mark managed to gain strict permission from the current landowners and we went for a ‘quick look’…

[Enter Team Awesome]
We first conducted a mass tidy up of the shakehole in August 2023 as it was littered from previously aborted digs. We were excited to see that one of the stream sinks (previously dug and where all the flood water in the video sank) only required a few rocks removed to regain access to the dig face. Here we concentrated our efforts for the next few months having a small breakthrough when we uncovered a draughting bedding plane but unfortunately it was only a few inches tall.


Topless digging, because

Progress was hard won from here, we ended up re-excavating an abandoned dig at the opposite end of the shakehole which we drove to approx. 5m deep, this also carried an outward draught, however it slowly started to back up with water so we concentrated efforts once again to the original dig.

Re-excavation of the 'TSG dig' (V2)

Sidetracked by other projects we eventually regained enthusiasm and in April broke away from the choke and hit a solid chamber with a howling draught blowing from a crack in the floor. This restriction was passed after a few hours of capping and led to a crawling passage heading SW which ended in a boulder obstruction leaving an enticing black void beyond. The boulder was removed on the next trip which gained access to the head of a 20m deep, narrow rift (Brooklands Straight). With no gear to hand but a ‘Rob Eavis’ who valiantly down-climbed the pitch and grabbed any glory there was to have. The pitch was rigged the following week and the pitch head gardened. The base of the rift was clean washed and 50m in length from end to end. The NE end headed up through boulder constrictions to further cross rifts (some quite sizeable) but all head towards the surface. The current digs all sit at the SW end of the Brooklands Straight, 3 in total (floor level, 3m off the floor and the third not far from the top) all of which are narrow and unappealing.


Team effort


Fabian passing the squeeze


Brooklands Straight

Through May Rob has driven efforts in pushing/mining the middle dig, dubbed ‘The 2nd Reich’. Due to the nature of the dig, it only warrants one person, so the floor level dig (The 1st Reich) was commissioned a few weeks after. Both digs now currently have a view into a void beyond, it just depends if what we’re looking at is crawling sized or fist sized! One thing that has kept us digging is the rumble of a stream beyond which can be heard in wet weather.


Sam digging 'The 1st Reich'

The lowest known point is approx. 50m higher than the upstream end of the SMMC and over 1km away, with nowt but blank space in between!

Watch this space…

I must stress Little Waterfall sits on private land and we currently have very restricted access from the landowner to enter. Please do not jeopardize this until we have come to a permanent access agreement! We are and have always been very open with our digging projects so if you are looking for more information take a look at our website or contact one of us directly, Thanks.

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Glad to see this site finally getting the attention it deserves. Always wondered if the water from here went under Linen Dale and on to Stoney from there. Linen Dale Cave always sounded interesting but I never went for a look. I believe the Stockport had a dig in there years ago. Would this tie in with the dye tracing?
 

Mrs Trellis

Well-known member
Does anyone have a link to the results of the SMMC dye tests? I also wonder if t'owd man's in SMMC is from Middlefield Rake.
 

JonP

Well-known member
Does anyone have a link to the results of the SMMC dye tests? I also wonder if t'owd man's in SMMC is from Middlefield Rake.

See Descent #296 for the full article by John Gunn.

Personally I think Middlefield Rake will be the t'owd man influence seen in the SMMC. Ideally we need to find a way to get in the upstream continuation (hence LWS).
 
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So upstream SMMC doesn't go? What's the current end? Sump? Choke?
Maybe Linen Dale Cave is worth another look if the drainage passes underneath. Has anyone been in there recently?
 

JonP

Well-known member
So upstream SMMC doesn't go? What's the current end? Sump? Choke?
Maybe Linen Dale Cave is worth another look if the drainage passes underneath. Has anyone been in there recently?

The current end of SMMC is choked by what appears to be miners debris, however the passage is vastly smaller in dimension here and it's possible that there could be something missed when passing one of the previous chokes? The end choke would be a big undertaking (scaff/capping gear).

Linen Dale could be interesting, access could be an issue?
 
Not sure, it's been dug previously. I believe Mrs Trellis may know about this one. Strangely Linen Dale Cave isn't where I thought it was but the location looks intriguing for a route dropping in downstream of WS / LWS
 

Mark

Well-known member
This appeared in the field directly above the old man in SMMC a couple of weeks ago
Only a couple of mtrs deep

6ceee159-ba71-412b-b2eb-e16fb71b1996.jpeg
 

Mrs Trellis

Well-known member
Access to LDC may be problematic as finding out who actually owns the land might be difficult. The situation 30+ years ago iirc was that the land was owned by three old ladies in Foolow but a farmer rented it from them. One Bank Holiday the farmer had spent the day in the Bull's Head (then the Slug & Lettuce I think) and decided to eff us off because he thought there might be lead in the rocks we stacked outside.

Mark may get to the root of it with his local knowledge. LDC is virtually opposite Waterfall on the south side of the road in an old quarry. The entrance crawl is very tight but it leads to a choked rift. Happily it's completely dry but I don't remember a draught.
 
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T pot 2

Active member
Access to LDC may be problematic as finding out who actually owns the land might be difficult. The situation 30+ years ago iirc was that the land was owned by three old ladies in Foolow but a farmer rented it from them. One Bank Holiday the farmer had spent the day in the Bull's Head (then the Slug & Lettuce I think) and decided to eff us off because he thought there might be lead in the rocks we stacked outside.

Mark may get to the root of it with his local knowledge. LDC is virtually opposite Waterfall on the south side of the road in an old quarry. The entrance crawl is very tight but it leads to a choked rift. Happily it's completely dry but I don't remember a draught.
Lin
 
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