New Goyden Pot

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Regions \ Yorkshire Dales \ Wharfedale and the North East \ Nidderdale \ New Goyden Pot



New Goyden Entrance

Grid Reference: SE 10157542

Altitude: 195m

Parking is at the farm or on the road. Follow the Nidderdale way from the farm up the valley till it meets the river bed and straight opposite is the small entrance to New Goyden pot. Note: There is no access straight accross the fields from the road.


Presently permission for access has been granted by Mr Harker of Thrope Farm, no need to call.



Two fine pitches drop you into an impressive large phreatic tunnel. Upstream leads to a duck and small section beyond plus on route is access to unstable area know as South Avens and alternative entrance Thrope Edge Pot. Downstream passes the Main Inlet and Dry Wath Inlet then just before the middle sump a climb leads through to the Planatarium with further passages beyond including Hardy Pools passage.

Detail Dry Wath inlet - Follow the stream from either the Main Entrance or Thrope Edge Pot to the first right hand bend. Note the water coming in from your left, Main inlet, this is the New Stream water coming through from Frog pot. After the bend climb up onto the ledge on the left and along it until you see a narrow cleft in the wall with a rope hanging down. This is the entrance to Dry Wath inlet and the original way in by the early explorers. Awkward climb up and then hands and knees crawl above the narrow trench until you are able drop down into the small streamway. An aven on the left can be climbed past numerous sharp flakes to a choke above. Way on is crawl in the streamway. Some way in a small passage on the left leads quickly to a ~sump that connects with passages the other side that can be accessed by progressing on along the streamway. Further on a climb on the right leads up to a tight and awkward *bypass to the Dry Wath pitch, best explored from the other direction. Further along the stream after going round a couple of sharp bends the passage splits. Straight ahead lead to a choke inlet while going back and right leads up to the base of a pitch, Dry Wath pitch. This 15 m pitch goes up to a series of passages. Directly above the waterfall side is the orginal entrance to New Goyden now blocked. At the other side of the pitch passages lead off right and left. Left leads after just a few metres to a choke. A way down through the choke leads to a tight section of passage that *bypasses the pitch and connects with the first section of passage in Dry Wath inlet. Right from the pitch head leads to a hole in the floor and beddings right and left. The rift in the floor can be descended to a wider section and to the ~sump at the bottom. Right along the bedding at the head of the rift leads to a series of cavities and small stream. Left along the bedding leads through to Frog pot. The squeeze a couple of metres in is the tightest section. At the end of the bedding a larger section of passage quickly leads to a pitch easily descended with a handline down to a shelf and small climb down into Frog pot main stream passage and downstream sump.

Hardy Pools Passage


Three weeks after the Craven Pothole club 1955 annual dinner cavers N Clarkson, R Powell and N Brindle intent on finding cave made a preliminary reconnaissance in Nidderdale. They calculated that Goyden was approximately 100ft (30m) deep to the first sump and 115ft (35m) to the final sump leaving a fall of 65ft (20m) to Nidd Head rising. The searched the normally dry river bed and found the Dry Wath group of sinks 700- 800m south of the entrance to Goyden pot. N Clarkson, A C Hardy, R Powell , S Warren and N Brindle started opening up the most northerly sink in the New Year of 1956. The stream flowing down the hill from the east ran a short distance along the river bed and then sank amongst boulders. They dug out quite quickly a star shaped fissure to a depth of 5m to a large flake which once removed revealed a squeeze through to a parallel fissure about 8m deep. Here the stream rushed down a narrow crack with strong draught. At this point the project was left till after the winter. On March 25th D Brindle and N Brindle dug out gravel in wet conditions and shored the dig to continue onwards until a low opening under one wall was uncovered. A way through was forced into yet another parallel fissure and tight crawl to a small drop and roomy passage leading to a 15m pitch. Good Friday they descended the pitch and followed the passage to break into the main river passage. The following day they were joined by J Bradley and A C Hardy. J Bradley, D Brindle, A C Hardy, R Powell and N Brindle searched for a bypass to the upstream sump and found Postmaster-General’s passage high in South Avens through to yet another aven that was noticed to finish close to the surface. J Bradley, D Brindle, A C Hardy, B Sharp, A C Waterfall and N Brindle armed with picks and shovels attempted to lower the upstream sump. They lowered it enough to create an airspace and go through to find passage beyond to what is the upstream sump 1 proper.In total 100m of passage was found in this new cave and they named it New Goyden pot.

N Brindle in the early part of 1957 managed to discover a dry entrance further down the valley from the wet Dry Wath entrance. At the base of a small scar he found a bedding cave with a loud roar from the river below. A few hours work opened up a new and more comfortable entrance. This is now the main entrance to New Goyden and the old Dry Wath entrance was filled in once again by flood debris. Later that year on August 18th N Brindle an independent diver experimented in using a back mounted aqualung of compressed air at New Goyden pot.He was supported by D Brindle and J Bradley in his attempt to find a way through the upstream sump.

The downstream sump 1 was passed by Alf Latham in August of 1970 after attempts by Phil Davies (April 1961) and Mike Boon (May 1967. Alf Latham also dived sump 2 to an airbell after 70m.

Alf latham dived through the upstream sump 1 on 24th November 1973 after attempts by Phil Davies (1961) and Mike Boon & Pete Livesey (1965). Alf Latham later found an airbell (Alf's airbell) marking the end of sump 2. He also dived the sump at the end of Hardy Pools passage with Howard Crabtree in 1974 and found a complex fault chamber the other side.

Rob Shackleton and Julian Griffiths steadily dived the downstream sumps of New Goyden pot throughout the early 1980's. They passed sump 2 and 3 on 7th September 1980. On 5th October 1980 Julian Griffiths dived till his line ran out at 52m where Rob Shackleton continued and passaed the sump just 3m further. He then walked aling a small section of passage with passage going off to the right to sump 5 which he passed after 24m to 46m of large river passage typiaccly 9m high and 4.6m wide. Then unbelievably he passed sump 6 as well after just 9m to more than 100m of large river passage. Julian could not believe he had missed out by just 3m on having the glory of being first to discover this series. He did though manage to make the final link from Goyden through to Alf's airbell at the end of upstream sump 2 in August 1981.

A major collapse in 1998 of several tons of soil and rocks blocked access to New Goyden pot. Chris Fox and Paul Baxter dug out the debris to reopen the cave.

Ralf Guscott and Chris Fox linked New Goyden pot with Frog via the Dry Wath series in 2006. A project that involved many digging sessions in a low restricted passage.

The alternative climable entrance, Thrope Pot was opened by Chris Camm, Chris Fox, Russ Brooks and Nigel Gatenby in May 2007.


Northern Caves 1 Wharfedale & North East

  • Northern Caves Volume 1, Wharfedale and the North-East. Nidderdale section page 160-161
  • Craven Pothole Club 1956 Volume 2 No. 2 New Goyden, The exploration of further reaches of the River Nidd during 1956

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