Talk about Portland's Caves

Pitlamp

Well-known member
Cracking presentation Tim; I just watched it over a leisurely breakfast on a cold and gloomy Dales morning. Thanks for putting that together.

Just out of interest, I noted your mention of cavers from Leicester being the (likely) first folk to document the caves. Do you happen to know if Trevor Ford had a hand in this?
 

mikem

Well-known member
Pitlamp said:
Just out of interest, I noted your mention of cavers from Leicester being the (likely) first folk to document the caves. Do you happen to know if Trevor Ford had a hand in this?
T. D. Ford & M. J. Hooper (1964) The Caves of the Isle of Portland in Trans C.R.G. vol 7(1), p.11-37.
 

Pitlamp

Well-known member
Thanks Mike.

I just had a very helpful email from Graham Mullan, in which he suggested:

"The answer to your query can be found in Trans CRG of GB Vol 7 (1) pp13-38 and 7 (2) 205-208. See also 12 (4) 291-298."

Graham isn't on this forum but he kindly gave me permission to relay this information when I asked him.

 

mikem

Well-known member
12(4) was written by Churcher, Butler & Bartlett in 1970. 7(2) doesn't appear to be in the references for the Wessex book.
 

tim.rose2

Active member
Other's beat me to it but yes I believe it was Trevor Ford.  I'm afraid I'm no expert regarding the history - it's only really what I've picked up from others.  One of the biggest problems is the non-documented (or written down in strange places) history and there's an awful lot of it.  For example Nigel G recently showed me a copy he'd managed to track down of the first survey of Ariel Cave (a sketch really but reasonably accurate) which was only ever published in Hardye's School newsletter. 

One thing I didn't mention in the talk... If anyone is interested in the Geology of the island, google "Ian West Portland".  Plenty there to keep you entertained for many hours.
 

mikem

Well-known member
Bit earlier: http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/onlineex/topdrawings/c/005add000015537u00194000.html

& More recently (this references one of the articles):
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0016787896800307
 

Pitlamp

Well-known member
If ever circumstances take me to Daaarzet in future, I must chuck some caving gear in the car.
 

Cavematt

Well-known member
I?ve been looking forward to watching this all day with a post-DIY beer.

A splendid presentation and extremely informative. I?ll openly admit that I knew little about the caves of Portland, other than having read snippets here and there. As a fellow Jurassic limestone caver, I feel appropriately enlightened.

This was a great presentation, well structured, beautifully explained, plenty of excellent photos, and painted a really clear picture of caving in Portland. Very enjoyable indeed, thank you (y)

Couldn?t believe that survey image showing the straight 1km passage. Five weeks into lockdown, even 4hrs of crawling is sounding pretty desirable right now!
 

mikem

Well-known member
Not many people have been to the end of it (& it's probably quite some time since the last visit)
 

tim.rose2

Active member
The four hours of crawling is in fact 8 as you have to return.  Personally, I did an hour each way when I was 16 (nearly 20 years ago), decided that was sufficient and never felt the need to go back.  It was before I discovered knee pads so I guess that didn't help.  One day I might go to the end to say I've done it, or at least start out with that intention again.  I was told some time ago it's been surveyed, but not published, and that trip (which included a bit of digging) required 17 hours of crawling.  For some reason nobody, even it's original explorers seem keen to go back.  I'm lead to believe the survey was never published as there were a couple of inconsistencies in the data which needed a return trip to deal with!

 
 

D.Send

New member
Hi,

If you like crawling, just ponder on Mansonni?re Cave in Normandy.

Over 1 kilometer long crawl in a chalk cave, all dug out... (just to get named in the rankings).

If you like digging, the potentail is estimated at 3 to 5 kilometers !


  D. Send.
 

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