Cambridge Underground 1977 pp 54-55


Foss Gill Pot Area

Blegmire Pot (NGR 944742) Length 25 feet

Not having opened up a new 'Mire' for some time, Andy Nichols and Julian Griffiths decided that an afternoon could quite usefully spent be doing just that. A prime site had been previously located on a prospecting trip along Foss Gill Bench. A shakehole with a small stream entering at one side had a narrow rift, the bottom of which at that time was occupied by two dead sheep. Undeterred both by the sheep and the likelihood that the stream resurged again before finding its way to Foss Gill Pot, the two set to work. An hour's work ferreting around in the sheep and the boulders produced a way forward. 15' of streamway (3' high and 1' wide) led to a chamber which terminated in a solid choke. Clearly the cave hadn't managed to rid itself of the influence of the surface and had come to a sticky end under the shakehole next door. Pausing only to inform Sue O'Brien that we had finished and that she could stop laughing now, we retreated to a place with a couple of pints of disinfectant to wash.

Crook Gill Pasture

This had been designated area six by the club's 'think-tank' as part of its general review of Wharfedale. And it was while most of its members were aiming their views on a wide range of speleological matters in the comparative comfort of the Bluebell in Kettlewell that Bob Mathews and Julian Griffiths went to see if there was much of promise between Crook Gill and Cray. Only one cave is recorded as being in the area by Northern Caves and that is Crook Pasture Cave. This is situated under a prominent scar about six hundred yards off the road over to Wensleydale and is a mere 50' long. We soon realised that the one entry in Northern Caves was a fair reflection of the speleological interest of the area, though we did happen upon a couple of holes that were previously unrecorded (but not necessarily unvisited):

(1) NGR 938799 depth c. 20 feet

This is a narrow rift about a hundred yards upfell from a small resurgence that lies to the NE of the scar mentioned above. Bob was the only one to descend and he found it choked at the bottom.

Efforts to force Bob into the resurgence itself proved fruitless, partly because of the diminutive nature of the opening and partly due to a reluctance on his part to lie flat out in the water in his jeans and T-shirt.

(2) NGR 933797) length 15 feet

This is 50 yards north of the prominent resurgence in Crook Gill. The entrance shakehole 'drops' into a small streamway. Downstream chokes immediately while upstream can be followed for about 15' in a low bedding with a couple of inches airspace. As the explorer had no hood a courageous decision was made when the airspace dropped to 1". Returning to the surface the cold water started having an effect, and he reeled around for a minute or two before falling over. It is not clear whether the stream seen here is the major feeder for the resurgence or merely a tributary. Not a particularly promising hole.

The resurgence in Crook Gill was also looked at but proved to be comprehensively choked. The water for it comes from further up fell where the stream sinks into its own bed in shingle.

Julian Griffiths

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