Author Topic: Deep Well - Pridhamsleigh  (Read 16820 times)

Offline jessausten

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Deep Well - Pridhamsleigh
« on: February 12, 2014, 12:16:14 pm »
Off to Pridhamsleigh this evening to try and find Deep Well.  Looking at the survey I think I've worked out my route but wanted to check on here first.

The exit left/next to of The Staircase in Bishop's Chamber has a deep hole at the entrance (not Bear Pit).  Do we need to decend that hole and follow the passgae to Deep Well or do we need to cross the hole?

Thanks  :)

Offline Judi Durber

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Re: Deep Well - Pridhamsleigh
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2014, 12:41:27 pm »
Go across the top of the Bear Pit

I get to it by dropping off through the slot & down the slope on the left as you are coming into the first chamber.  You then work your way round at that level slowly going right.  If you keep going right you will drop into the Bear Pit again.

Climbing up out of what you have worked round is fun too and ends up in a flat out crawl into the top of the first chamber.

It's Prid'hams  ;D respect the holes (they can be deep with slippy sides) & have fun exploring.  Try & leave the mud where you find it.

Any locals give a better description  :-[
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Offline jessausten

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Re: Deep Well - Pridhamsleigh
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2014, 01:31:28 pm »
Hello, thanks for getting back to me.

I know the cave quite well as I don't live that far away.  I've never really wondered off the "tourist route" before but now I have a copy of the survey I feel a little bit more confident to find some of these other places.

Have made it round to The Rift before but want to work out how that links back to Crystal Chamber and maybe explore the Mystery Pool if we have time.

If anyone is around this evening we should be down there for around 19:00/19:30.

 :bounce:

Offline glyders

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Re: Deep Well - Pridhamsleigh
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2014, 04:50:57 pm »
My favourite route around Prid, repeating as little as possible while still getting to most places:
On entering take an obvious left turn. Keep high (if slopes away from you to the left) and then turn right and up a fun slippy climb. After that you will regain the normal way in just before you have to stoop to the left through a puddle.
On entering Crystal Chamber head left. At the top is a crawl over flowstone. Turn left and descend a little bit to the start of a rift. Traverse along it to the right. After this rift the passage turns right and you reach a junction with a slot cut out of a false floor.
From here you have a choice of ways down to the Lake.
Traverse out over the Lake on the left hand wall. Climb up over a flake and then descend into a possible pool (have met it sumped). Right is a trip to Mystery Pool, left is a squirm up Maggots to flop out by the Lake again.
Start heading back up and almost immediately turn left into the Cellars. Wading brings you to a descent from the right. Carry on past some false floors until you can squeeze through a hole then turn 90 degrees and squeeze up through a slot. From the chamber above the slot head right and you will find a climb up with a bridge part-way up. A short crawl brings you back into the main passage. Turn left and head back into Bishops and then Crystal and back out the normal way.

Offline Cartwright26

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Re: Deep Well - Pridhamsleigh
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2014, 06:33:33 pm »
Hi, are you still going down prid tonight? I may be available as cave rescue training is postponed for the evening, if you ever fancy a trip down prid and dont want to solo just pm me. Cheers
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Offline mrodoc

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Re: Deep Well - Pridhamsleigh
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2014, 06:16:05 pm »
Let us know what the Well is like nowadays. It used to be a dive site but so much mud has been slopped in that on a visit a few years back Pete Mulholland and I waded across. Before my time there used to be a big totem pole stalagmite at the far end and helictites on the walls. Only stubby remains now sadly.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Deep Well - Pridhamsleigh
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2014, 08:32:44 am »
Please can I pick your brains mrodoc? You've dived in Prid many times; is it true that there are  stalactites below water level in the Lake? If so, do you know what depth they extend down to? Thanks.

Offline Joe90

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Re: Deep Well - Pridhamsleigh
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2014, 09:25:47 am »
I wouldn't go with Cartwright, he's a right dodgy bugger he is.

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Offline mrodoc

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Re: Deep Well - Pridhamsleigh
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2014, 01:22:25 pm »
With regard to Pitlamp's query, they were first reported after a dive in the 1950's but I haven't seen any at depth. However in high water conditions stal formations inches above the water are frequently submerged particularly since the construction of the A38 dual carriageway in the 1970's when a number of cavities were encountered and partially filled with concrete. Fish always said he drove carefully over this section as he had seen them working on the site. The limestone here will be on on very near the water table and is probably riddled with phreatic cavities. So if a sinkhole appears you heard about the possibility on UK caving forum :)

Offline Cartwright26

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Re: Deep Well - Pridhamsleigh
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2014, 11:14:18 pm »
Thanks joeboy!
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Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Deep Well - Pridhamsleigh
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2014, 05:41:06 pm »
Again for mrodoc - there's a reference to the Prid stals in Cave Research Group Newsletter No. 68/69 (Sept./Oct/1957) page 7. It states they've been seen down to -12 m.

Next time you happen to go for a dive there, please could you keep your eyes open for them? (Even better, include details of any stals - or indeed not finding any despite looking - in your dive log in the CDG Newsletter, so we have a proper written reference to quote?)

Thanks!

Offline Julian Mann

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Re: Deep Well - Pridhamsleigh
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2014, 08:43:40 am »
You're right there Joe. Cartwright is a dodgy bugger.

Offline Cartwright26

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Re: Deep Well - Pridhamsleigh
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2014, 08:49:15 am »
I never claimed to be a saint ;) who is the mysterious grump gnome?
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Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Deep Well - Pridhamsleigh
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2014, 09:38:56 am »
Sorry for banging on about those underwater stals yet again - but has anyone else seen them? We've been working on putting together a list of all instances of stals in sumps and, if that 1957 reference is reliable, it may be that Prid has the deepest (at -12 m?) underwater stals in the country.

The deepest we know of elsewhere are at -7.2 m in Keld Head but that's because of the special detail of Kingsdale's glacial history; I don't think you quite got the Devensian ice in Devon (as we 'ad it tough up north y'know!), so it also begs the question as to why they're there in Prid?

Offline Cartwright26

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Re: Deep Well - Pridhamsleigh
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2014, 10:41:12 am »
would the water levels of been lower before installation of the a38? As mentioned before there were alot of voids etc that were partially backfilled with cement during construction.
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Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Deep Well - Pridhamsleigh
« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2014, 03:30:23 pm »
Well - it seems a reasonable suggestion and one to explore further perhaps. But first we need verification of the actual depth of these stalactites. There's plenty of CDG members who have dived in Pridhamsleigh so I'm hoping we can get a confirmation.

Whilst I'm on - when was the A38 constructed? (By which I mean when was the major work done which you suggested might be implicated in possibly raising water levels?)

Thanks.

Offline Cartwright26

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Re: Deep Well - Pridhamsleigh
« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2014, 04:21:52 pm »
I believe parts during the mid 60s near dean prior were up graded to dual carriage way, but the buckfastleigh bypass was not added untill the mid 70s, hope this helps.
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Offline mrodoc

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Re: Deep Well - Pridhamsleigh
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2014, 05:55:45 pm »
it would have been after 1970 as I first visited the cave on 29/6/67 and the dualling wasn't there then. Lake levels were lower then and the dive when underwater stal was noted was in 1957 by a couple of navy guys. The letter is published in an old Cave Science in John Hooper's description of the cave. I must admit I have never seen stal at depth in Prid I which is where it was supposed to be but then Prid 1 is usually a very murky spot you don't hang around in. You need someone to go down the shot feet first on their own with a powerful torch to be sure so I would regard the report with a little suspicion.

Offline mrodoc

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Re: Deep Well - Pridhamsleigh
« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2014, 06:03:26 pm »
Further to my last post I have looked through my log and I suspect water levels changed somewhere between 71 and 75 as Tony Boycott and me visited the cave in October 1975 having heard water levels had changed via the grapevine. What was once a crawl into Mystery Pool Chamber had become a sporting duck.

Offline Cartwright26

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Re: Deep Well - Pridhamsleigh
« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2014, 07:06:13 pm »
that would certainly fit the A38 theory as the Bfl bypass was built around '73
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Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Deep Well - Pridhamsleigh
« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2014, 08:29:35 pm »
Thanks; it's interesting if a road building scheme affected water levels in the cave. What sort of difference are we talking about; a metre or so? If that's the case then it couldn't account for stals at -12 m.

Navy divers eh? If they weren't actually cavers, would they be able to identify stal anyway.

I wonder if it's worth my asking CDG members (via the website) if anyone's actually seen these things in there.

Out of interest, what's the level of the Prid lake water surface relative to sea level?

Offline Cartwright26

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Re: Deep Well - Pridhamsleigh
« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2014, 08:40:18 pm »
According to the survey at the surface of the water its -44 however last month it was more about -40 if not higher!!
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Offline Cartwright26

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Re: Deep Well - Pridhamsleigh
« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2014, 08:41:21 pm »
Another caver i was with was able to get into the roof voids by pulling himself out of the water thats how high it was!!!
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Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Deep Well - Pridhamsleigh
« Reply #23 on: February 17, 2014, 08:57:27 pm »
Thanks, is that "-44" as in "44 m below the level of the entrance"?

Really what I'm interested in is how far above sea level the water surface in the Lake is normally.

Offline Les W

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Re: Deep Well - Pridhamsleigh
« Reply #24 on: February 17, 2014, 09:41:59 pm »
Thanks, is that "-44" as in "44 m below the level of the entrance"?

Really what I'm interested in is how far above sea level the water surface in the Lake is normally.

Mr Oldham's Concise Caves of Devon, gives an elevation of 200 feet, which I assume to refer to the entrance
also a vertical range of 50 feet (which I assume is to the water) or a vertical range of 170 feet if diving.

Not sure how helpful that is.

The other thing to consider, apart from the construction of the bypass, is that the river is very close to the cave (although on the other side of the dual carriage way) and will almost certainly have some effect on the water levels in the cave...
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