Harry Potters Bedroom (the dig under the stairs )
After a winter of failed trips , mainly due to key failure , lock failure , equipment failure and failure to drive past the pub, we happened upon this dig when a trip was cut short by a faulty lock. On our way back out we went up to see the Stemple of Doom . Dave has not been in to this passage before, and I could not remember what it was like .
Dave went beyond the stemple for a quick look ,and on the way back to the main passage we poked our heads in a small opening directly below the bottom of the entrance steps , back filled presumably by the miners .We realised the miners had filled a natural water worn passage with spoil, and after pulling a few rocks out we knew it had potential.
The opening into this area is just to the left, after you turn left at the bottom of the steps .
We broke through after only 3 trips, and about 4ft in depth of spoil .An easy trip for a couple of average blokes (it takes us longer to get changed ) with an average trip time of 1 minute and 32 seconds .
Below it opened into open passage about 3 to 4 mtrs wide and about 1.2 mtrs high .Dave got quite excited at this point, a joyous thing to behold .Upstream finished at a choke after about 6 mtrs . This is probably directly under the mined passage at the bottom of the steps . Downstream went for approx 15 mtrs ending in silted up wide passage draughting very strongly . This is following the line of the mine downhill.
At this point we must add we are not the first people in here , a small trench has been dug towards the upstream choke and there was a single set of footprints at the downstream end . There can only be two explanations , either towd man had a look before he chucked the spoil down or the Revell's have been in but seen fit to back fill it .
Bog exiting the breakthrough point, by Dave Cowley
It doesn't make sense for the revell’s to back fill it as it is a great example of natural passage very near to the entrance .
The one nagging doubt is that why would towd man dig the trench ?
We now know that downstream heads straight for the end of Armoured mud ball crawl in the lower series and is virtually the same height .We also know where the upstream passage continues, and that is our next project .
It has become very apparent that the history of this part of the mine has been lost with the passing of the generations of the Revell’s, and we would be keen to hear from anyone who knows anything about the construction of the lower steps and the mine area at the bottom.
Bog at the downstream end, by Dave Cowley
It also seems surprising that nobody ever realised large passage sat within feet of the showcave .
This opens up exciting opportunities for a large section of cave heading towards Moorfurlong or elsewhere up the hillside, and is something we never considered, but when you reflect on the large amount of natural features in the mine area at the bottom of the steps, it suddenly seems obvious .
If anyone has any articles about the mine or early exploration of that area we would be keen to hear from you .The next dig is again through miners spoil so lets hope it was a big hole they chucked their rubbish down .
Dave Cowley , Bog (Team Average)