Church Pot

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Regions \ Yorkshire Dales \ Wharfedale and the North East\ Church pot



Church Pot Entrance

Grid Reference:SE 09967614

Park by the picnic tables further up the valley beyond Limley Farm. Through the gate into the field towards the river as for Goyden pot. Instead of going left to Goyden main entrance follow the river bed (normally dry) right, down the valley past a small stream to where wire baskets hold up the river bank. There in the river bed is the metal lid of Church pot.



Mr Church of Limley farm at present gives permission. No need to call. Cavers must though not climb over the fences and always close the gates.



Church pot was dug by the Black Sheep Diggers and provides an interesting alternative entrance to the Goyden system and more importantly a flood escape route.


Enter Church pot and climb down the rift with care, handline useful, onto a jammed scaffold pole and then onto a ledge on the left to the ladder. Descend the fixed ladder, climb down the rift and then down the second fixed ladder to the walking size passage below. The passage briefly lowers at a left hand bend through to a junction where it is possible to stand up again. Right leads into a low craw, Gargett Way, through to Intermediate chamber and then low bedding beyond. Half way down the bedding is Ball of String passage with choked inlet. Further down the bedding the passage drops down into The Living Room with stacked boulders and into the rift beyond. Follow the rift into a bedding passage that connects with the passage below The Turf in Goyden 2. At the start of Gargett Way carry straight along Black Sheep Passage until the next junction. Left leads up a muddy bank to the base of an impressive aven 17m high. In the roof is a dig. From the junction continue on past a crawl on the left easy to miss and onto the T-junction. Note left leads to climb down into the main stream passage of Goyden while right leads to the Turf and Goyden II bypassing sump 1.

Route Description

Church pot, Pinnacle climb and the Turf to Goyden 2 and return via Gargett Way

After entering Church pot rather than turning left to the main stream turn right along a stooping/crawling passage until a way through can be see to the right. Turn right into this passage and to the base of the climb. This is Pinnacle climb 6m high and best climbed on the left with P hanger in place for aid/life-lining. At the top of the climb crawl through to the small waterfall. Climb up this and then do not follow the passage ahead but instead climb up and back on yourself with care until it is possible to a small passage. This leads almost immediately to a 2m climb down,hand-line useful into Chapel chamber. A stream falls from a passage in the roof. This has been followed to a choke. The way on is left along a narrow passage until a pitch is reached. This pitch is 25m deep with a small stream falling down. At the base a small stream can be followed upstream to a low bedding passage and then through into a rift and Gargett Way passage turning left at the T-junction to exit via Church pot. Downstream soon opens out into the large river passage. Left leads to the sump 1 20m long. Right leads to an impressive large stream passage and sump 2 which although only 7m long and with airbells must not be free dived as often full of tree branches and other rubbish washed in. Return via Turf pitch or Gargett Way and Church pot.


The Black Sheep Diggers dug open this pot in 1999 following floods that first opened the pot and then filled in the entrance. Goyden entrance had become so blocked such that flood water flowed on past without it filling the cave to the roof. The water therefore found the first available place to enter and fill the system. The flood washed out a clay filled tunnel through to an aven that previously could only be visited by going up a tight clay crawl from Gaskills passage. The fill washed out of this inlet was deposited in Gaskill's passage turning a walking size passage to crawling size although this is being steadily washed out by subsequent floods.

Church pot was immediately seen as an ideal flood escape route for Goyden and so the Black Sheep Diggers installed fixed ladders and metal bin entrance to aid quick exit.

Following the opening of Church pot a small tube Gargett Way was pushed heading towards the Turf by Mick Gargett. It was abandoned at a small chamber and too low bedding although a stream could be heard beyond. The aven just up from Garget way towards the entrance was climbed no passage was found only a large choked area. The hole in the roof above the start of Gargett Way was widened by Nick Bairstow and then climbed to where a boulder blocks access to the passage beyond, an inlet passage heading up valley. The aven down the passage not far from Gargett Way was previously climbed years ago by access from Gaskill's passage (before Church pot was opened) was re-climbed by Chris Fox. A calcite area was removed to reveal a small passage through to an unstable chamber with sand filled rift heading up towards the surface, dig. The small passage at the top of the aven has now run in and is presently blocked.


Northern Caves 1 Wharfedale & North East

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

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