Shepton Mallet Caving Club
The Shepton Mallet Caving Club (SMCC) is an active Mendip based caving club and has a membership of around 100.
The headquarters (The Mineries) is based in the village of Priddy, just outside Wells:
- SMCC, The Mineries
- Wells Road
- BA5 3AU
History and Exploration
The Shepton Mallet Caving Club (SMCC) was founded in 1948.
As a Mendip-based club, in the 1960s and 70s it was at the forefront in the cave diving exploration of Swildon’s Hole, progressively downstream to Sump 12 and involved in pushing the exploration of many other extremities of the cave.
Equally active was the exploration of St Cuthbert's Swallet, including passing the sump in October 1969 and to present day has regularly “dug” at many surface features. Gibbets Brow shaft is one of the latest digging projects.
Off Mendip, the club has made a significant contribution in the exploration of lava tubes throughout the world and in more recent years has been involved in the exploration of the limestone caves of Thailand. In February 2009, on an expedition, members of the club explored a cave in Nan to a new Thai depth record of -306m.
The Shepton Hut, the Mineries, is centrally heated and is the closest hut to the centre of the universe.
Rates are reasonable and visiting groups are welcome to stay.
How to find us
From the A39 going north out of Wells take the Priddy Road (left turn westwards) towards Priddy. Pass the Hunters’ Lodge Inn crossroads. A few hundred yards further on is a garage on the right followed by a row of houses. At the end of the row is a telegraph pole with a piece of reflective tape on it. Turn right here up a track and head into the car park.
The club has regular trips both on Mendip and away to the other caving regions of the UK.
The Club publishes a Journal approximately twice a year as well as Occasional Publications on an as when required basis.
For members there is also a regular Newsletter.
The Journal and Occasional Publications began in 1960 and are a comprehensive record of early to current club activity and exploration.
An archiving project to scan the Journal and Occasional Publications has begun which has the added benefit of making copies accessible to purchase as the majority are now out of print.
The club website address is www.shepton.org.uk
There is also a sub site dedicated to the Thailand explorations, the address is www.thailandcaves.shepton.org.uk