Author Topic: Elm Cave  (Read 2958 times)

Offline chriscastle46

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 316
  • Cheddar CC
Elm Cave
« on: August 15, 2017, 02:19:51 pm »
Could someone familiar with Eastern Mendip tell me  if there is access to this cave and how to find it? I know you can't get to it from Fordbury Bottom and I wandered around below Tedbury Quarry without luck.

Thanks

Chris

Offline rhychydwr1

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 3203
  • Russian, the best
    • http://www.showcaves.com
Re: Elm Cave
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2017, 03:32:28 pm »
Stolen from ....


Elm Cave, Great Elm, Fordbury Bottom.
aka Fordbury Bottom Cave, Great Elm Cave
NGR ST 74637 48741  A 96 m  L 39 m  D 10 m

β€œ400 yards upstream from the Mells River, 30 feet up the left bank in a rocky recess. A small entrance just below the Jurassic unconformity opens out into large phreatic tunnel descending to a boulder choke,  This transects great geodes, whose big calcite crystals seem to have been unaffected by cave formation, if indeed they are earlier. Cf Bypass Geode, Cross Quarry Geode Crystal Pot etc.  MCG excavated the boulder choke in 1956 finding a pool varying in level with the stream outside.  Charles Moore, an early geologist, is said to have become stuck in this cave, having to be rescued by miners, and dying soon afterwards.” MCC p 70

Cope C J T et all page 13 The Final Years.
β€œIn 1873 Moore lectured on his experiences in Mentone, France, where he had an enforced recuperation from a bad accident during field work in a cave on the Mendips.  He was trapped by a rock fall in a cave in Murder Combe, and was a long time before he was rescued.   This said Winwood (1892) was the cause of a long illness to which Moore eventually succumbed.
Winwood H H 1892  Charles Moore FGS and his work with a list of fossils types and described specimens in Bath Museum by Edward Wilson FGS  Proceeding of the Bath Natural History Society and Antiquity Field Club 7 232 292 [ also published as a booklet by Bath Herald, Bath]

References:
Anon 1892 Bath Natural History Proceedings.  Charles Moore FGS and his work: with a list of fossil types and described specimens in Bath Museum 233-269
            Fossil types in Bath Museum 270-292
            List of papers and communications fron Charles Moore FGS 270-292
           No mention of cave accident.
Cope C J T, Taylor M A, and Tackray J C 1997 Charles Moore (1814-1881) Proc SANHCS (140) 1-3c6 [for 1996]
Log Entry Vol 37 No 101015 Cave not found, undergrowth impenetrable.
MCC p 70
Mitchell, David 1962 Caves and Swallets of Eastern Mendip by MCC Jl  (3) 31-33
MU4 p 70


Offline chriscastle46

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 316
  • Cheddar CC
Re: Elm Cave
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2017, 04:22:46 pm »
Thanks rhychydwr1. I've got your first reference, but as far as I can see the cave can no longer be accessed  from Fordbury Bottom as you'd have to cross the railway line, which is fenced, and make your way up through  dense woodland. Someone will correct me if that's wrong, but I suspect I'd have to find my way down from the top. A very short cave, but I've never seen it.

The reference to Charles Moore was interesting, I was under the impression he'd died in the cave or very soon afterwards.

Offline dugadig

  • player
  • **
  • Posts: 104
Re: Elm Cave
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2017, 11:57:43 pm »
Grid reference is accurate Chris. Walk up the Mells valley past ruins.. cross over the river at bridge then follow the footpath around the hill towards the railway crossing. Up on your right near the top. No need to cross the railway.


Offline chriscastle46

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 316
  • Cheddar CC
Re: Elm Cave
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2017, 07:53:05 am »
Thanks dugadig, I was around there yesterday but didn't see a way up; I'll take another look.

Offline mikem

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2514
  • Mendip Caving Group
Re: Elm Cave
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2017, 08:33:44 am »
The best route to the cave is to follow the footpath that starts at a gate opposite the duck pond, and head upstream up Fordbury Bottom for 400m. You can either follow the path or more easily the railway line that leads to Whatley Quarry. The cave is on the bank on the right hand side not far after where the stream passes underneath the railway line. (from MCG news Oct 2001)

Mike

Offline axbridgecaver

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 324
  • Axbridge Caving Group
    • Redcliffe Caves
Re: Elm Cave
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2017, 03:46:56 pm »
The accident in the cave was in 1869 (Winwood H. H. 1892 Proceedings Bath Natural History & Antiquarian Field Club, Vol 7   p 232–292. page 263) and his death certificate is dated 7 December 1881; he was 67 years old.

Offline chriscastle46

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 316
  • Cheddar CC
Re: Elm Cave
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2017, 10:38:23 pm »
Goodness! whatever lurgi he picked up getting trapped took over 11 years to kill him!

Offline chriscastle46

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 316
  • Cheddar CC
Re: Elm Cave
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2017, 04:59:02 pm »
Thanks to everyone who contacted me about this. I've just returned from a search with Sid, who wanted to photograph the entrance the registry. Despite an thorough search, getting maimed by nettles and brambles, we could not find it. We found a rocky recess but no cave. There's some fallen trees around it; we wondered if it's got blocked.

Sid found a reference about it being dived in the 80s. Does anyone have any more information?

Offline mikem

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2514
  • Mendip Caving Group
Re: Elm Cave
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2017, 05:49:05 pm »

Offline Duncan Price

  • forum star
  • ****
  • Posts: 598
Re: Elm Cave
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2017, 09:28:00 pm »
Quote from: Somerset Sump Index
ELM CAVE, Fordbury Bottom ST746487

References:
Barrington & Stanton (1977) p.70
MCGJ 3:32
Irwin & Jarratt (1999) p.70

In 1956, D Mitchell and A Cowley excavated the boulder floor of the first rift chamber and discovered a continuation of the rift sloping steeply down to a clear pool. In the summer, the level of the pool dropped about 15 ft. to expose a boulder ruckle. A tight route was then engineered down through it to a small chamber with a pool. Before anyone could dive at the site, the bottom of the first chamber collapsed and the extension was lost. In 1978, A D Mills, C Brimstone, D Beeching and D Walker re-opened the extension.

6 May 1978
Diver: P D Moody

Investigating old work done by Dave Mitchell in 1956 and then Alan Mills, Diane Beeching and Dave Walker in 1978. Water was 6 ft deep in the second chamber but the way on could not be found.
CDG NL 50:14 (1979)

7 June 1978
Diver: P D Moody

Water had dropped and the route to the second chamber was open. Squeeze through boulders was very tight and kitting up was difficult. A short dive of 10 ft into another boulder choke at 6 ft depth.
CDG NL 50:14 (1979)

14 September 1980
Divers: C O Houlden, B C Wilkinson

In NL 50:14, P D Moody stated that the way on could not be found. Short description of 1980 dive, no real progress.

CDG NL 58:28 (1981) with survey
Belfry Bulletin 391/2:10 with survey

Offline chriscastle46

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 316
  • Cheddar CC
Re: Elm Cave
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2017, 11:32:40 am »
Thank you Mike and Duncan for that information. The cave is larger than I realised. I just wish I could find it! I'll try again, I've got interested now!

Offline Ali M

  • menacing presence
  • **
  • Posts: 229
  • WCC, UBSS
Re: Elm Cave
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2017, 03:55:48 pm »
In early September 1984 water levels had dropped in Elm and Colin Houlden made a  preliminary dive in the third chamber on a base fed line. He reported reaching a boulder pile that he thought he could pass with a line reel. On 10 September he returned with Pete & Ali Moody & Rich Warman. On this trip the the water level was about 15ft down the third chamber. Colin made a couple of dives with a line reel, but each time he ended up in a mud choke with no sign of the area he had reached a few days before.
We have a couple of (poor quality) photos of Elm dating from this time.

Offline Sid

  • addict
  • **
  • Posts: 158
  • MCRA Photo Archivist
Re: Elm Cave
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2017, 04:07:43 pm »
Thank you Ali. Photos are always appreciated.

A local gent has offered to show us the location of the cave. Just arranging a date.

Offline BarryW

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 12
Re: Elm Cave
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2017, 05:50:59 pm »
Sid,

I dived Elm with Colin Houlden back in 1980. The final sump walls were extremely unstable, take care in there!

Barry

Offline dugadig

  • player
  • **
  • Posts: 104
Re: Elm Cave
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2017, 06:17:11 pm »
Its been a few years since I last entered the cave.. but I found it using the grid reference.
I doubt it is blocked. More overgrown. Take a GPS and fight your way to the spot under a small cliff.
My dog was making so much noise tied up to a tree outside I never got the chance to explore it properly but the first chamber is quite big and I don't envisage the entrance being blocked. You will find it. :thumbsup:

Offline Sid

  • addict
  • **
  • Posts: 158
  • MCRA Photo Archivist
Re: Elm Cave
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2017, 05:12:36 pm »
This afternoon after alot of fighting with brambles and undergrowth we found it!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mendipcaveregistryarchive/36801921951/in/dateposted-public/

This was without the help of the local gent who decided he did'nt know where it was either.



Offline chriscastle46

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 316
  • Cheddar CC
Re: Elm Cave
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2017, 10:20:20 pm »
That's me! Another shagged-out 70 year old who should know better. And - I've been down longer caves than Elm Hole recently!

Offline dugadig

  • player
  • **
  • Posts: 104
Re: Elm Cave
« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2017, 03:29:02 pm »
Did you get to the end pool?  Nice trip?

Offline chriscastle46

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 316
  • Cheddar CC
Re: Elm Cave
« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2017, 05:10:19 pm »
Yes. Nice but short trip.

Offline Sid

  • addict
  • **
  • Posts: 158
  • MCRA Photo Archivist

Offline Ali M

  • menacing presence
  • **
  • Posts: 229
  • WCC, UBSS
Re: Elm Cave
« Reply #21 on: September 04, 2017, 04:32:38 pm »
The 1984 photo is the sump in the third chamber. This could only be reached in drought conditions.

Offline Sid

  • addict
  • **
  • Posts: 158
  • MCRA Photo Archivist
Re: Elm Cave
« Reply #22 on: April 08, 2019, 09:44:16 am »
Elm Cave by MCRA, on Flickr

Some of the rubbish bought out by members of ATLAS 7 April 2019. Abit more work to do and a new gate to go on soon.

The 3rd chamber was flooded to the roof.

Offline dugadig

  • player
  • **
  • Posts: 104
Re: Elm Cave
« Reply #23 on: April 12, 2019, 08:14:41 pm »
A new gate is good.. As long as it doesn't have a lock. The old one didn't.  :unsure:

Offline dugadig

  • player
  • **
  • Posts: 104
Re: Elm Cave
« Reply #24 on: April 28, 2019, 09:03:46 pm »
A new gate is good.. As long as it doesn't have a lock. The old one didn't.  :unsure:

No assurance on this point then?  :shrug: