Cheddar Caves Press Release.
The "Tuesday Diggers" have found their way into the BIGGEST UNDERGROUND
CHAMBER yet discovered underneath the Mendip Hills. Called "The Frozen
Deep" by the discoverers, this chamber contains some of the most stunning
calcite formations ever found in Underground Mendip, including two 5m tall
pure white columns of calcite surrounded by pure white flowstone covering
the walls and floor.
The six triumphant "diggers", who are well known in the world of Mendip
Caving, include Martin Grass, Alison Moody, a retired teacher, two retired
GPs, Dr. Pete Granvill and Dr. Tony Boycott, Nigel Cox and Nick Chipchase,
who celebrates his 65th birthday tomorrow.
The six of them have had exclusive access for the last 4 years from Longleat
Estate to dig the "gated" Reservoir Hole, which Dr. Willy Stanton, as Lord
Bath's Consultant Geologist, had previously looked after for Longleat Estate
for many years. It lies 150m east of The Pinnacles in Cheddar Gorge and has
a large main rift, which was discovered and named "Golgotha" by Dr. Stanton
in 1969. Further major "finds" were made in 1970 and 1973, but progress
thereafter was more limited.
Dr. Stanton, before his death, had suggested that the "diggers" concentrate
on exploring a side passage, and eventually they broke through into a 20m
long parallel rift, which they named "Great Expectations". Removing a large
slab enabled them to crawl a further 15m into another chamber, 25m high and
20m long, which they named "Resurrection ". Yesterday this led them
to a loose boulder slope, which ended in a 12m vertical pitch.
Returning today, Tuesday 04 September, with rope and tackle, they descended
the pitch into the largest chamber yet discovered under the Mendip Hills,
being 50m to 60m in diameter and up to 30m in height and containing the most
stunning calcite formations to be found in recent times in any Mendip cave.