Pridhamsleigh Cavern 16 August 2022

Leader: Richard

Cavernous entrance to Pridhamsleigh

This is a very well known, relatively easy cave system near Buckfastleigh, well frequented by newcomers to caving as well as school and club visits. I recently read of someone taking a four year old on a trip there- easy to pop through the narrow bits and lift up the higher ledges. I took my 13 year old granddaughter in there with the club, as her first caving experience. It also has some more demanding sections and is known to be rather muddy.

I remember going there before lockdown and traversing a 45 degree rift by walking on the ceiling. Being a newbie, I had my keys in my pocked, which chose to fall out half way along the rift. A kind and experienced soul volunteered to shimmy 20 feet to the bottom and successfully retrieve them from a crevice. We didnt take this route with my granddaughter, but ducked through a low wet hole in the back of the entrance chamber after some protestations of “I can’t do that” and made our way down the narrow passage to Bishops Chamber.

From here, we made our way round via The Cellars to the Grand Gallery and The Lake, with a few demanding climbs for my granddaughter, who then got quite used to things. After a rest, and a couple of people climbing through some wormholes, we set off back via The Attics and down the very slippery Mud Staircase back to Bishops Chamber.

We were then tasked by Richard to recall our way back out, with only one point of confusion, probably in the Crystal Chamber, before recalling correctly and emerging.

Afterwards, my granddaughter modelled the latest in caving gear fashion, featuring ‘Mud is the new black.’

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