Wookey Hole - 75 Years of Cave Diving & Exploration



Since the Middle Ages, visitors from all over Britain and beyond have been drawn to the magnificent cave system at Wookey Hole in Somerset where the River Axe flows through a series of chambers before emerging at the head of a rocky ravine.

For the last 75 years, ever increasing numbers of tourists have been joined by an adventurous band of cave divers whose aim has been to explore the subterranean Axe and follow the river ever deeper into the Mendip Hills towards the feeds swallets on the plateau above.

This book covers the saga of exploration from the hard hat, lead-booted pioneers of the 1930s through the post-War "frogman" era to the high-tech, deep divers of the present generation.

A story of triumph and occasional tragedy, it is told by the divers themselves and those who knew them well.

First published in 2010, the Cave Diving Group is now making this truly incredible book available to members and non members alike for an equally incredible ?16 which includes FREE P&P in the UK. The book can also be shipped worldwide at additional cost.

Buy yours direct from the CDG website: https://cavedivinggroup.org.uk/product/wookey-hole-75-years-of-exploration/


Hi All - I bought a copy of this book a few years ago and thought I would comment as I can highly recommend it.

The book tracks the progress from the very earliest Siebe Gorman Hardhat Diving in the early 1930's to the most recent pushes (now back in 2005) using mixed gasses and sidemount rebreathers at depths greater than 90m (underwater).

The history of it's exploration and techniques used are well documented and each page carries a number of superb photographs or working surveys - a real treasure trove. Having been very fortunate to dive here back in 2015...all I can say is that having read the book beforehand really added to the experience as you pass through the many areas with historic significance. The huge amount of work that went into this book is apparent on every page and although many people contributed Jim Hanwell, Duncan Price and Richard Witcombe are to be congratulated for the quality of the work. It's something I have gone back to time and time again.

Even if you don't dive it is still a superb read and the fact that if bought in the UK the offer price of ?16 (which includes P&P) represents excellent value for money.

You can buy the book direct from the CDG's website here: https://cavedivinggroup.org.uk/product/wookey-hole-75-years-of-exploration/

The Old Ruminator

Well-known member
There is a small diving museum at Wookey Hole as part of the tour.

There is a suitably scary video running. Narration sounds like Lee Bishop but I might be wrong.


I thought the museum on site was excellent (The Wells and Mendip one is well worth visiting too) - I liked the dummy dressed up in gear (how they used to dive in the 80s) and then looked down at what I was wearing and it was pretty much the same :D