Author Topic: Elbolton Hole; why is it there?  (Read 1053 times)

Offline Pitlamp

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Elbolton Hole; why is it there?
« on: November 17, 2020, 04:10:38 pm »
Anyone who has been for a trip down this interesting pothole may remember the slog up the steep hill to reach the entrance. It's located right at the very summit of Elbolton Hill.

Which begs the question as to why? There's not even a trace of a valley or ancient sink hole. I think the very top of the entrance shaft may have been modified by miners of old but they might merely have widened a narrow (natural) vertical fissure.

Just wondered if anyone had any thoughts on this.

(A hypogenic origin, maybe?)

Offline langcliffe

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Re: Elbolton Hole; why is it there?
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2020, 04:56:26 pm »
I always assumed that it was hypogenic in origin, formed when everything to the south was squashed during basin development, but Tony Waltham and Phil Murphy say in Caves and Karst that it is probably syngenetic in origin.

Offline mikem

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Re: Elbolton Hole; why is it there?
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2020, 05:33:36 pm »
Is it at a rock type boundary? Whatever was uphill of it may have been glaciated away...

Offline tobyk

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Re: Elbolton Hole; why is it there?
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2020, 03:04:22 pm »
I’ve only been for a walk up there, not actually been down any of them. But it does seem quite novel why they are there.
Elbolton hill is situated at the junction of two valleys (glacial??), the wharfedale valley, and the Cracoe side. It is also right next to a gritstone cap. Could they just have been formed by glacial meltwater like the majority of Dales caves?
There are quite a few reef knoll hills in this area, does make you wonder if they contain caves aswell, or is it just elbolton?
Also slap bang on one of the craven fault lines.

Offline langcliffe

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Re: Elbolton Hole; why is it there?
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2020, 12:56:47 pm »
If anybody is unfamiliar with Elbolton Hill, this is a picture taken from my study window. The cave is to the right of the top, a little way down the ridge. To the left is Stebden Hill, another reef knoll, and to the left of that behind the tree is the Grassington grit of Thorpe Fell.


Offline Ed

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Re: Elbolton Hole; why is it there?
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2020, 01:37:50 pm »
I think you'll find it was made by the fairies

http://archive.org/stream/york00shirelegendsparkrich#page/92/mode/2up


Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Elbolton Hole; why is it there?
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2020, 03:33:51 pm »

Offline langcliffe

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Re: Elbolton Hole; why is it there?
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2020, 12:05:08 am »
There are quite a few reef knoll hills in this area, does make you wonder if they contain caves aswell, or is it just elbolton?

A large phreatic chamber 60 m below the valley floor was exposed and destroyed by quarrying activity on what used to be Swindon Hill.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Elbolton Hole; why is it there?
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2020, 07:38:40 am »
Thanks Langcliffe - yes, there's information publicly online about the Swinden cavity:

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/54199a46e4b05afa19b4e68c/t/545770e3e4b05903c3d2015d/1415016675512/19+Arditto.pdf

. . . but this source is clearly flawed as it makes no reference to the fairies!   ;)

Online skippy

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Re: Elbolton Hole; why is it there?
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2020, 08:39:01 am »
There is also reference and a sonar image of the Swinden cavity on P498 of 'Caves and Karst V2'.
Going back to Elbolton pot..is anyone familiar with the rigging?
I assume its on spits, naturals and/or angle iron? Thinking of having a mooch next week.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Elbolton Hole; why is it there?
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2020, 08:53:40 am »
I was last down there 3 or 4 years ago, not long after a sturdy new fence / stile had been erected around the entrance. We used the fence posts as main belays; there is a single 8 mm anchor for a re-belay a few metres down in the narrower bit of the shaft, which needed an 8 mm hanger adding; can't remember what condition it's in. If you have an 8 mm tap available it might be worth running it down the anchor to clean the threads gently first and / or maybe adding a bit of grease. (I usually have an 8 mm tap attached to a T bar with me for trips in less frequented places but I can't remember if it was used on that trip.) The farmer, from whom permission should be sought, is generally very helpful.

Skippy - I'll PM you about something else.

Offline mikem

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Re: Elbolton Hole; why is it there?
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2020, 10:22:33 am »
West Mendip has a series of large chambers with very little associated passage - at least some of which is thought to be hydrothermal in origin.

 

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