Bax Pot

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Regions \ Yorkshire Dales \ Wharfedale and the North East\ Bax Pot



Bax Pot Entrance

Grid Reference:SE 09987617

Parking is available by the sealed railway tunnel. Over the road descend the steep muddy path with care over two stiles to the river. Cross over the river and follow the river down the valley until a track leads up to a gateway in the wall. Turn right along the wall and Bax pot is covered with a metal lid.


Permission for access is currently granted by the farmer, and there is no need to call.



Entrance through to Diver's chamber of Manchester Hole with possible through trip to Manchester Hole, or link with Goyden Pot.


The metal lid opens to reveal a small vertical rift. An easy slide and scramble down the continuing rift descends into the top of Divers Chamber. From the top of the mud slope it is possible to traverse left through to the rest of Manchester Hole, or descend the slope and follow the stream towards the Eternal Optimist link with Goyden Pot.

Through trip to Manchester Hole

From the top of the mud slope in Diver's Chamber traverse left into a muddy crawl, Swinton Bypass. Follow this until the stream is reached. Right leads immediately to Sump 1, while left soon leads to a duck. The duck is about 5m long and in normal conditions it is possible to easily keep your head out of the water and just about keep your chest dry . NOTE: Do not attempt the duck if there is no airspace. The section of passage from the duck to the crawl including Fossil Passage has been known to flood rapidly, trapping cavers between. At the end turn left into a fine walking passage. After a few metres on the right is a calcite slope with a small hole at the top. A squeeze through this and then slither down the ramp opens out by the sump pool. This is the start of a 45 m static sump connected by divers to Pillar Pot in Goyden. Walking past the calcite slope a muddy oxbow goes off left while the stream passage continues to the right. At the point where the passages re-join are fine example of fossils on the wall before the crawl. The crawl is short and soon opens out into a fine gallery. At the end of the gallery two routes are possible. Up over the mud slope on the left leads to a traverse across the roof of the Main Chamber or the stream can be followed through the gap in the boulders. Both routes re-join at the point where easy walking passage is gained and a large stalactitic formation hangs. The large stream passage can now be followed to large boulder pile and entrance slope leading up left. Note: The continuing stream passage soon ends at a boulder choke close to the stream sinks on the surface. This must not be dug as the increase in water flow sumps off the duck and crawl at then end of the cave.

Eternal Optimist Link with Goyden Pot

In Diver's Chamber descend the mud slope to the stream. Follow the stream right and then shortly before Sump 2 slither through a bedding on the right, and ascend the following rift. This leads into the Eternal Optimist connection. To the right is the way through to the Lesser Stream entrance. To the left is Eternal optimist that starts as a low crawl but soon opens out into a fine crawling size phreatic tube for about 20m to a point where a vertical slot downwards leads to the exit of sump 2. From here, follow the stream down the rift and into the bedding on the right. At the end of the bedding ignore the obvious way to the right but instead go left to the choke. Climb down with care into Lesser Stream Passage below. Follow the water through the narrow slot to the right, and then on working your way round boulders as required until the passage finally connects with Goyden's main stream at the cascades.


The entrance was opened up from the inside by Paul Baxter (Bax) and Chris Fox of the Black Sheep Diggers in 1998, an event witnessed by a family having a picnic nearby. The parents told the kids to be quiet to watch the rabbit or mole surface, and were shocked to see Bax and Chris appear like a scene from The Great Escape!


Northern Caves 1 Wharfedale & North East

  • Northern Caves Volume 1, Wharfedale and the North-East. Nidderdale section page 160-161

External Links

Description of through trip between Manchester Hole and Goyden Pot

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