Somerset Underground, Volume 2. West Mendip, Burrington and Northern Mendip


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Somerset Underground,  Volume 2.  West Mendip, Burrington and Northern Mendip by R M Taviner 2019  262 pp. illus.  DW in plastic cover.  Available from the Mendip Cave Registry and Archive for ?12.50 post free from:

I use to live in Bristol and I thought that I knew the Mendips like the back of my hand and that I had visited every cave, nook and cranny, so it came as a surprise to find that half the sites listed were new to me.  True, a lot of the site described were ochre mines, either filled in or hidden away, but even in Burrington Combe the book lists crevices and overhangs that I have not even heard of.

The sites are listed in a haphazard way, first by areas and then vaguely in either alphabetical order or by NGR.  There is some duplication with Volume 1.  Uphill and Brean Down are listed in both tomes. 

Although there is an index of caves/sites, many other alternative cave names are not indexed.  A list of caves/sites by National Grid References is also lacking, in my opinion an important omission.

Work is in progress on the other titles in the series: Volume 3 Central and South Mendip and.  Volume 4 East Mendip, Bath and South Somerset.  I am eagerly looking forward to these.

Despite these faults, these books are an essential reference work and need to be in the rucksack of every keen explorer.