Author Topic: Llangattock Cave System development - information please  (Read 980 times)

Offline Huge

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Llangattock Cave System development - information please
« on: August 28, 2018, 10:06:55 am »
I'm looking for a good sorce of information on the development of the Llangattock Cave System. Hopefully something giving a nice overview, like the papers on Draenen by Farrant and Simms, published in Cave and Karst Science in 2011.

I've read the relevant chapter in Limestones and Caves of Wales but the conclusion there seems to be that more study is needed. And what's suggested in A Caver's View of the Clydach River by Scuurmans just sounds like pseudo science babble, although I'm not a geologist or a scientist of any sort so it may not be! Of course, since these works were published, Farrant, Simms and others' work in Draenen, has shown that the Clydach Gorge is a much older feature than was previously thought. That's something that would have an important impact on how speleogenesis under Llangattock is perceived.

On-line, I've only found papers covering very specific areas of study being covered, not a complete overview of the speleogenesis of the system.

I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction or  possibly even offer to answer a few simple(?) questions. Thank's in advance.

Huw.

Offline Huge

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Re: Llangattock Cave System development - information please
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2018, 03:39:46 pm »
I may have come across above as sounding a little dismissive of the Llangattock chapter in Limestones and Caves of Wales, didn't mean to. There's lots of good info in there, which, if I apply what I think I've learned from the Draenen papers, I think I understand!

Not sure of it's wise to apply ideas from one system onto another but there are lots of similarities - same beds, more or less, common valley incision involved etc.

Offline Huge

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Re: Llangattock Cave System development - information please
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2018, 11:34:36 am »
Just bumping this up in the hope someone can help.  :)

Offline Clive G

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Re: Llangattock Cave System development - information please
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2018, 01:19:14 pm »
This is quite right. The most recent scientific overview of the Llangattock Cave System is the one available in Limestones and caves of Wales (1989). Older papers and publications are referenced at the end of the chapter.

I'm amazed, given Bill Gascoine had died, that I heard from no one when the pre-planning work was being carried out for the new Heads of the Valleys dualling scheme in the Clydach Gorge. In updating the section in my forthcoming book Travelling Through Time: a prelude to Exploring The Caves of Llangattock Mountain, I have brought the section on the new dualling scheme up-to-date and have discovered in the process that Costain are currently in dispute with the Welsh Government over the contract.

What it seems is that the geology and technical challenges are far more complex than Costain had believed when contracting for the work, which has become apparent as the works have proceeded. The work is, I believe, currently about two-thirds completed.

In advance of the contract being awarded, I believe (because I haven't got access to the correspondence at present), I wrote an e-mail to Steve Pedrazzoli (who was Bill Gascoine's right-hand man) with various observations to help with the planning work. Around a year later I also sent a copy of this e-mail to the chairman of the Brynmawr Historical Society (I think his title was off the top of my head). But I heard nothing further back both times.

It was only in October 2015 when I heard through this forum, UK Caving, that the Old Drum & Monkey Inn had been demolished that I subsequently managed to send a copy to Costain directly, but by then they had been committed since January 2015. Owing to my father being taken into hospital with a serious problem at Christmas 2015 I was unable to visit South Wales as planned during January/February 2016 to meet the contractors at Gilwern for a further discussion, primarily concerning the mountain's hydrology and important past events.

My point about saving the Old Drum & Monkey building and rebuilding it nearby (with reference to the work done by St Fagan's Folk Museum) as a continuing meeting place for the local community and visitors to the area alike seemed to have gone unheard in sufficient time. This I suggested would have represented a major plus for the local community over a road scheme which is otherwise primarily aimed at benefiting travellers passing through the area - as conveniently and safely as possible. The point is that planning permission has been granted for the Rock & Fountain Inn to be converted to a residential property and thereby such provision is lost to the locality.

What amazed me is that whoever did advise the road scheme seems to have known nothing about the periodic flooding from the Ogof Craig a Ffynnon resurgences, which will only get worse as the climate change effect caused by melting polar ice becomes more extreme. Indeed, the original Heads of the Valleys road was flooded shortly after the cave was originally discovered and I copied some reports about this for the contractors around the time of the problem which prevented my trip to Wales.

Another serious omission which I would have flagged up if I'd been involved, is the removal of parking for people wishing to visit the upper part of the Clydach Gorge for walking or caving. As I understood things, when in discussion with the contractors in late 2015, no provision has been made to restore vehicular parking once the works are completed . . .

I wrote a guidebook to the caves, Visiting The Caves of Llangattock Mountain, which Castle Cary Press/Mendip Publishing failed to publish when I had completed the text and their contact, Sue James, failed to provide on request from myself any scheme for publication in the foreseeable future. Indeed, the publishers went bust, I believe, as a result of the old Inland Revenue insisting on payment of outstanding dues being made in full. This work included a scientific update on the caves. It is my intention to get the scientific update 'updated' again (!) and include this with the guidebook which will be published when the history of exploration books are available in print. I'm working on making this happen as soon as possible - and have written to D.J. Lowe (editor of Cave and Karst Science) in this respect earlier this year.

In the meantime, I'll try and answer any questions I can when I next have access to my notes and records.


Offline Huge

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Re: Llangattock Cave System development - information please
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2018, 12:04:24 pm »
Thank's for the reply Clive.

Offline Mendipgirl

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Re: Llangattock Cave System development - information please
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2019, 10:34:00 am »
TO wrote a book on the Caves of Llangatock.