Author Topic: Elsewhere in Dorset  (Read 377 times)

Offline tim.rose2

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Elsewhere in Dorset
« on: August 31, 2019, 10:04:03 pm »
Thought I'd start a thread titled 'elsewhere in Dorset' to post info about underground sites in other parts of the county (i.e. not Portland).  Please feel free to add to this...

So the obvious question why start this?  Well today I finally got around to something I've been meaning to do for about 15 years.  Sas was out with her band marching up and down the square and blowing her trumpet in Bridport.  With nothing better to do I thought I'd go with her and do a walk in the area which just happened to pass the location of Walditch cave.  The Portland book mentions the cave but until today I'd simply not got around to going and having a look.  With no idea whether the cave was still accessible and nothing other than a grid reference to locate it I didn't know whether I'd even find the entrance.  Turns out it's fairly easy to find, sufficiently discrete, however the entrance is a little overgrown and I'm guessing nobody's been in there for some time.  You also need to be nettle proof.

I might have had a head torch and helmet in my bag just in case, however was otherwise not dressed for caving so today was just a quick glance inside.  The entrance is a narrow slot.  The cave then opens a little before a squeeze into a respectable sized bit of passage - unlike the Portland caves, this is something water worn which you can stand in.  After about 20 m I would have had to grovel around on the muddy floor, possibly do a bit of clearing and then shove myself through to progress so called it quits at that rather than get filthy.  I believe I got as far as the choke reported, roughly halfway through the cave, which according to the Portland book is 46 m long.  A return trip with proper kit, a Richard and a couple of tools is in order to get to the end.

With regards to the end.  Is there anyone out there who's seen it?  The Portland book states it's a choke - is it worth a discrete poke & prod?  The cave goes the right way into the hill so in my mind there's certainly potential for more than 46 m.

A couple of photos:
The entrance


Looking back towards the entrance


The bit you can stand up in


Where I retreated today


I'll add some more to this after I get around to the return trip.

I'll also try to post some bits about a couple of the sea caves along the Purbeck coast when I get a chance.

Offline mrodoc

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Re: Elsewhere in Dorset
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2019, 07:30:48 am »
I have a  large selection of Walditch photos. There is a Descent article on it somewhere probably dating back the 80's when I did it with Nick Poole a local caver from Bridport. Chris Proctor surveyed it.  I have seen the choke. Might well be worth a prod. The cave is surprisingly well developed isn't it! clearly phreatic.

Offline tim.rose2

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Re: Elsewhere in Dorset
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2019, 09:16:30 am »
I was very surprised by the cave - was expecting some god awful wet & dirty crack I could just about fit in until my humour ran out.  Not the case at all.

I'm betting there be something else in that hill!  I emailed Richard last night to warn him there's now another site on the ever increasing list. 

Could you post some of your photos mrodoc?  I tried to find your website last night as I thought you had some on there but I could only get to the contacts page - the others seemed broken.


Offline mikem

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Re: Elsewhere in Dorset
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2019, 09:35:39 am »
Yep, the links just take you to the code for the other pages:
http://www.darkanddeep.co.uk/contact.htm

It has had a previous mention (but link does the same):
https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=6856.0

This issue:
https://www.wildplaces.co.uk/descent-82

Offline tim.rose2

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Re: Elsewhere in Dorset
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2019, 10:23:56 pm »
The promised sea caves...
There's loads of sea caves along the Purbeck coast line (Weymouth to Swanage), many I've not been too and probably never will as it's not really my thing.  However, when out for a gentle paddle on a nice summers day and happen to stumble across one, naturally curiosity takes over.

The first is found on the edge of Pondfield Cove, accessed by walking down to the sea from Tyneham.  I first took a look at this by swimming out to it (only a few metres) several years ago, but didn't have a camera at the time.  Earlier this summer we passed on our kayaks so popped in again:

We met another group of kayaker heading to Lulworth - this was as far into the cave as they got!



However, if you land on the boulders at the back of the cave, climb up over them and down the other side you find yourself in darkness in a reasonable sized chamber:





The second is found just before rounding the headland into Arish Mell.  Here you'll find a fine little through trip to complete on a kayak





As per normal in sea caves a little beach is found at the back



Finally my third offering is just round the headland into Arish Mell.  Basically found in the other side of the same bit of cliff.  A lovely big sea entrance to paddle into and good beach to land on. 





Looking back out to sea (I just like this photo!)


There is a second entrance to this cave.  A flat out fishy crawl (didn't bother myself) which gains the chamber direct from Arish Mell beach.