The Mine Shafts Project. Hydrology.

The Old Ruminator

Well-known member
Me again on the 20m platform looking into the dry level to the bridge over the next shaft.

The Hole In The Wall. 1.5m long space following natural roof and mud choke on the lode right.


The Old Ruminator

Well-known member
In the heart of the forest, where whispers reside, Old beech trees stand, with branches spread wide. Their leaves, like memories, rustle in the breeze, Guardians of secrets, beneath their canopies.
Roots delve deep, anchoring tales untold, In the soil's embrace, where mysteries unfold. Beneath the green veil, a silence profound, A dance with time in the forest's sacred ground.
Amidst the shadows, a cavers dream lies, A deep, dark mine, where courage defies. Through tunnels of echoes, a journey untold, A symphony of pickaxes, and stories unfold.
Beneath the earth's surface, where shadows play, The cavers delve, night and day. A tapestry woven with sweat and with toil, In the belly of the earth, where spirits recoil.
Yet, intertwined are these tales of old, The caver and beech tree, stories unfold. Roots meet with veins of precious ore, In the dance of life, where destinies chore.
Beneath the boughs, where sunlight weaves, The cavers emerge, the earth conceives. A kinship with beech trees, weathered and wise, In the heart of the forest, where harmony lies.
Old beech trees and a deep mine entwine, A tapestry woven through the hands of time. In the forest's embrace, and the earth's deep embrace, Legends are etched, leaving no trace.

The Old Ruminator

Well-known member
Bum. I am supposed to be "resting " now I have four digging trips in seven days. Todays was a new " cave " I called "Dropped Box Hole". Same general area as the mine. I dropped my camera box down an old limestone quarry and saw this small hole. All horrible and sticky mud in there. Lucky I found the corrugated sheet to lie on. Maybe worth another poke one day but I am in no rush.


The Old Ruminator

Well-known member
Ahh again. Same area as other work so off we go .

Up the hill to find all the Peters persistantly pottering away in C.. Trying to erect a fence inside or something. Not for me to reason why and in any case the Nicks were completely outnumbered three to one. The darn cave is full of dry dust. Copious loads were removed and tipped by the barrow load. This tedious task continued all day interspersed with lectures on the fauna of Costa Rica. The Strawberry Poison Dart Frog is indeed a remarkable creature. Eventually the fence was erected serving to protect the diggers from being engulfed in a dust avalanche. Well the chamber is now big enough to accommodate eight Costa Rican Tapirs so if you had heard the lecturettes you would know how big that is. No doubt the silliness will continue.
The Peters attempt to build a wall by the entrance was pathetic. Properly porportioned petrographic pieces purloined partly personally per practiced performance probably permanently. In other words I built it properly again. Yes its all perfectly peurile but a grand day out.


The Old Ruminator

Well-known member
One of the Peters thought my report rather sarcastic so I got Chat to do a better one. Packing kit for tomorrows trip.

In a world of shadows, where mysteries crave, Three Peters embarked on a journey brave. Into a cave, where whispers reside, Adventure awaits, with secrets to confide.
Peter the Bold led the noble quest, A lantern in hand, armor on chest. Through twists and turns, in the cavern's domain, He sought the unknown, undeterred by strain.
Peter the Wise, with knowledge profound, Mapped out the passages, mysteries unbound. His keen mind unraveling the cave's design, A scholar of shadows, in the flickering shine.
Peter the Jovial, heart full of glee, Carried laughter and camaraderie. With jest and mirth, the cave echoed their song, A trio of comrades, courageous and strong.
Stalactites hung like crystal chandeliers, Whispers of ancient tales reached their ears. Echoes rebounded off walls unseen, As the trio ventured where few had been.
Glowing fungi cast an ethereal light, Illuminating the cavern's silent night. They moved through the dark, a living thread, Three Peters exploring, where mysteries bred.
Creeping shadows danced upon the walls, As the trio pressed on through echoing halls. A tapestry of echoes, a cave's lullaby, Guiding them deeper, under the starless sky.
Amidst the silence, a secret to unfurl, A hidden chamber, a mystical swirl. Crystals gleamed with an otherworldly glow, Revealing a history only the cave would know.
Through the twists and turns, the trio pressed, Their bond and courage put to the test. In the heart of the cave, where darkness fades, Three Peters discovered the secrets of shades.
And as they emerged into the daylight's grace, The trio of Peters wore triumphant grace. For in that cave of shadows, where mysteries lay, They found not just darkness but a brilliant display.

The Old Ruminator

Well-known member
Yesterday went well. Here is a trip report.

Arrived at Mike's at 8.45 am then off to the MCG hut to meet Chris Binding and Nick Thorne. As requested Mr B. had provided coffee and cakes. He is such an amiable fellow. Changed in comfort then ambled over to Grebe. Mr Binding insisted in roping the old fellow on the 12m climb then scared him witless by visiting Lode Chamber. Worst roof I have ever seen. After admiring Willie's Walls we ambled along Perdition to the current dig face. All nice and soggy but made more amenable by the cave proprietor. Yes all done in the Willie fashion. Sumpy things drained and squeezy bits enlarged. I was most impressed on progress from my visit ten years ago. Mr Thorne and Mr B. made excellant photo subjects whilst Mike tried his humble best. Back to the MCG for more coffee and the last of the cakes.
Mike and I then went onward for supplies and a warm pastie arriving back at **** at 6pm. I could not face putting on my soggy oversuit so went down in my undersuit, wet knickers and socks.The work got done satisfactorily in three hours so I got home cold, damp and knackered at 10 pm. The Hole In The Wall needs clearing but I dont know when that will be. Its awkward re numbers as it just needs me and one other. The water was up to one metre almost back to the highest yet recorded.

Thanks to all involved. Mike for driving and Mr B and T for being patient with a doddery old photographer.

Gone off the graph so the last for this year.

Lots of goodies in yesterdays post.

My nice new caving boots. "Mr Whiskers " admires my ninth book in The Mineshaft Series. Thats nearly 1,500 photos in hardback books for the project.

Finally my bottle collectors magazine which is not awfully off topic as we have mentioned bottles before. Not sure why I have a caving image for the authors image. Me looking jolly for once I suppose.


The Old Ruminator

Well-known member
Todays email report for the group.

Cothelstone Hill Cave.

I have included everyone to bring things up to date.

Three Peters and me as last week. A real big effort today removing 45 wheelbarrow loads from the chamber. Peter Gl wants to make this the biggest chamber on the Quantocks and its certainly heading that way. Mr Goldie's fence is holding the first half of the chamber floor up whilst we dig a large area going down behind. The soil is less dusty now and a differant colour. We can keep going down exposing walls not seen for a long time. Maybe an undercut will lead somewhere. As Martin says I dont expect great finds but as ever you dont really know until you try. ( This no differant than other of our digs ). For me its a good day out in amenable company and better than the gym. At 76 you need to keep fit if you can. No photos from me today but Peter Gl took a few which will appear on the blog. A few bits of pottery found at depth. Utilitarian ware maybe Donyatt Pottery which was sold locally in Victorian times. Whether this points to our friend Blackatops its too early to say.

The Mine.

For the moment only " The Hole In The Wall" is active. A clearing dig is required but as its done from a narrow platform half way down the shaft only two people can work there. Well one really with one dangling his legs. There seems no point in splitting the CHC team of four up to achieve this. This can wait until we have two; most likely me and Mike when he is free. Well me and anyone else really but likely not on a Tuesday whilst CHC requires four. In the longer term Brian will be back anyway. For those that don't know Brian is having cataracts done. One completed one to follow in c. three weeks.

Usual four at CHC next Tuesday I guess.

The Old Ruminator

Well-known member

Bedrock Geology: Leighland Slates Member - Slate​

Devonian period (Givetian to Frasnian age).
Sedimentary Bedrock, from an environment of open seas with pelagite deposits.
These sedimentary rocks are marine in origin (pelagic). They are detrital, comprising very-fine grained accumulated deposits of silica, carbonate or biogenic material, forming thinly laminated or structureless beds.

Mini anticlinal fold from the strata overlying Cothelstone Hill Cave.

Together with the Cutcombe Slates we see the same within the mine workings adjacent to the Devonian Limestone

Bedrock Geology: Roadwater Limestone - Limestone​

Devonian period (Givetian age).
Sedimentary Bedrock, from an environment of shallow carbonate seas.
These sedimentary rocks are shallow-marine in origin. They are biogenic and detrital, generally comprising carbonate material (coral, shell fragments), forming beds and locally reefs.

All the Quantock " Caves " seem to have this association.

The Old Ruminator

Well-known member
Just to keep things ticking over.

The Tuesday Diggers grand day out with guest Martin Grass.

Met a big flood at Cotheltone. Drove though with fingers crossed. Met Martin at the layby who turned out to be an excellant substitute for Brian at our Tuesday yarn.

Yarned all the way up then just to rub it in yarned for another ten minutes whilst the profusion of Peters did the work.

The Peters dug and hauled whilst Martin and I emptied the tubs and barrow. This arrangement continued almost unabated until Martin had to leave mid afternoon.I then did the emptying and barrowing until I could do no more which was just as well as tempus was fugiting. Two more pieces of the big bowl came out plus two pieces of a smaller one. Then a rib bone with cut marks and some very rusty pliers though the latter from near the entrance. I have come to the conclusion based on the evidence that the hermit was a demented cannibal. The Peter possy and I then went in for photos whilst the elder Peter rummaged about with a big boulder at the end. I could see that was ineffectual so got it out myself. We forgot to count the barrow loads but based on last week it had to be over 50. Got back to the cars at 4.30.No doubt something similiar will continue next week if the Peters are all present.

Nick ( Alias Peter 4 )

Note the plastic backed fence a novel way of shoring a dig.


The Old Ruminator

Well-known member
Back at The Hole In The Wall in the shaft at last.

Report to group.

Mike finished work early so we got a useful four hours work done. The " Horse Lady " came by and " kindly " asked us not to cross the field at night or with the wind blowing when the horses were there. Brian's track up the back is completely grown over now so we went over the gate there and up through the field. No problem. Usual gear,drill , drop rope and my sandwiches though Mike never had any. Loads of rubble to clear which went zooming down the shaft. The very end was hard work. Some natural large rocks came out. Mike bashed and barred until he got too hot. I got two more slabs out in a frenzy of bashing leaving one more wobbly but jammed in. Mike then drilled six c 600mm holes all over the place to hopefully sort with Aisholt on New Years Eve.
The Alcove is flooded with the water at 110 cm. This compares to 4.6m for the same time in 2022 but not yet at the maximum reached in Jan 2023 at 0.80m. One bat under the cap but was gone when we came up.. The wind was howling through the trees as we kicked our way back over the dry leaves in the wood. As ever when I go caving the car central locking would not work so the manual key set off the alarm making a racket.
The end still looks good. Far better than the bottom dig. A metre wide natural roof goes on for at least 1.5m without an end. Still very low though. I did say to Mike that if we kept this up we might find the caverns within the next ten years. In any case its very pleasant there sat on the platform and The Hole In The Wall is long enough to work in now.