• Derbyshire Explorers Forum 2023 - Sat 30th September - It's On!

    The event is now being held at the Mechanics Institute in the centre of Eyam (opposite the church), still on Saturday 30th September, with doors opening at 15:00. Best bit is that there is a bar on site.

    Entry is free and there will be evening meal also. More details to follow...

    Click here for more details

NPC Cottage extension underway


Active member
More than 19 years ago, the Northern Pennine Club started deliberating the possibility of extending our cottage, Greenclose (halfway between Clapham and Bentham) to accommodate an improved library. We are in the lucky position of owning our property and a substantial space out front into which we could extend.

Last year the Library Extension Fund received a significant donation from the estate of Barry Andrew, a well known and greatly respected local caver and Settle resident who sadly passed away in 2019:


This generous donation by Barry's executors meant that our long-planned extension could finally happen.

Greenclose is being extended to the front of the current building, to include a new full-height entrance hall with a modest SRT training facility. There will also be a new tacklestore and drying room, and most importantly, a new library which will be significantly larger than the existing one, and more purpose built.

After over a year of wrangling our way through the planning processes and then finding a local builder, work finally commenced on 22nd August.

Photo taken shortly before work began:


Groundworks quickly produced a spoil mound, the envy of any cave digger…


The cleared area ready to go…


Footings dug to define the outer perimeter of the extension…


Finished footings ready for concrete…


Blockwork commenced as soon as the footings were concreted and had set…


And a final photo from this week of the blockwork rocketing up.


There is still lots to do, but work is coming along nicely. Thank you to John Cordingley for these photos!

The current library will, we think, become a ‘snug’, a quieter common room, to help alleviate congestion when we have larger numbers of people staying (the current common room copes fine up to 20-25 people but becomes a bit of a squeeze above that). The relocation of the tacklestore and drying room to the extension will free up space around the back of the building, and we are hoping to totally overhaul that area to create better toilet and shower facilities (as these are also currently under pressure when the hut is busy)... Although this all depends on whether the current build stays on budget!

We’ve already overhauled all the bunkrooms in the last three years, so they are already good, and the kitchen is already top notch.

The new library will be an amazing resource that we hope lots of cavers (whether a member or not) will be able to benefit from. Over 75 years, the NPC has accumulated a very large collection of books and journals, many housed in temporary locations at the moment, and having a custom-built, temperature-controlled environment in which to store these, and a comfortable space in which to read them, will be awesome.

Greenclose is still open to members (£5/night) and guests (£8/night) although weekend only for now, via the back door, and with reduced parking due to building materials everywhere:


We’re so excited about this and can’t wait to be able to welcome members and guests to enjoy the new facilities once they are complete. Like many clubs in the Dales, we’ve seen a considerable influx of new members over the last few years, so this extension is very timely indeed.


Active member
Thanks for the update; that is really good progress:)

Although I have been largely absent from Greenclose in recent years the NPC was my first caving club and I always remember the warm welcome I received on the Christmas meet.

No doubt I'll be showing my face sometime next year, health permitting...



Active member
Glad to see a club doing so healthily, and thanks for accommodating SUSS's booking while renovations were still ongoing. We had over 30 people at the hut last weekend and an extra "snug" would be a great idea, so people are able to have a quiet chat while the raucous singing and caving games are happening in the main room. I look forward to seeing it when it's complete.


Active member
A few of us were planning to come up to Greenclose while you were there, but sadly one of our group came down ill. Sounds like I missed a fun weekend. Greenclose (and any caving hut) is at its best when full of people being raucous, playing caving games, and of course doing lots of caving, but you're right that having a second quieter room will be welcomed by many.

Glad you had a great weekend! Sounds like your freshers season is going well, and hopefully we'll see SUSS at Greenclose again soon :)


Active member
Work has continued on the NPC extension, although has been hampered by some of the rather wet weather of the past few weeks.

The blockwork is approaching roof level, the lintel over the new door is in place, and the existing library window has been bricked up. Insulation and the outer wall is going up nicely (and is of sufficient quality to put the rest of the cottage to shame).


The builders are now working weekends to try to get back on schedule after the wet weather.

The hut remains open at weekends to members and visitors (we have York Uni this weekend) but one of the bunkrooms is now out of action as they punch a new skylight into the roof and replace the entire roof above the new extension, so space is more limited for the coming few weeks.

Thanks again to John Cordingley for the photo.


Active member
With the blockwork almost up to roof level, over the last week, despite the atrocious weather, the steel joists are in and the roof timberwork has been taking shape...


Thanks as always to John who is popping in to keep a photo record of the progress (y)

Ian Ball

Well-known member
It looks great, I will miss the grass bank benches which were a good sunny spot of a summers evening.