Updated 19th May; 14th October 2003; 15th May 2005; 1st February 2006; 20th December 2008; 12th September 2014; 8th January 2020
Large entrance chamber is hidden behind a large limestone block at the
base of a small cliff. The floor slopes away to the head of a choked pitch.
Draughts out. Entrance sprayed.
This site is a classic example of rushed exploration back in the seventies; the minimalist description of a 55m choked pitch was the (inaccurately measured) obvious vertical descent; full exploration and survey was only started in 2003. (There is also an unexplored shaft site 2260 20m to the northwest).
Behind the entrance block is a slippery slope down to the head of the main drop. A hand line is required for safety. To the right (west) of the pitch is a 3 - 4m high and wide passage beyond boulders that rises and falls past the entrance of site 341 to end at a mud and calcite choke some 45m to the west.
The eastern continuation is smaller, and stooping progress stops at a bouldery drop with a hole on the other side. Explored in the summer 2003, a traverse over the drops entered a well decorated passage, 4 to 5m wide. This is nicely decorated with gours, crystal pools and cracked mud floor. Through a squeeze, the passage develops into a rift ending at a calcite choke. The truncated passage may be associated with sites 1382, 1383 or 2234. The holes beneath the traverse were also explored at the same time: the northern hole is blind and become small about 10m down. (This was re-explored and surveyed in the summer 2014. It is described as a 12m drop onto a calcited floor with a tight slope down to a tight triangular rift passage. This is blocked at the base by a few calcite flakes needing a lump hammer and a "flexible team member".) A hole on the south side is a 10m pitch to large passage and another pitch of 10m to a visual connection with the SRT route down.
The 2003 route to the bottom is down a small hole at the start of the eastern passage. This slimy route descends about 3m to a straight 20m drop to a bouldery ledge. A further 10m drop lands at a pool. The main chamber slopes steeply to a hole in an excavated boulder choke. An awkward 7m pitch drops into a small chamber with various tight tubes which are all too small. The draught is felt coming from a tight vadose passage.
At the top of the main boulder slope, in the opposite direction, thrown rocks rumble for a few seconds. This was explored in the summer down an excavated narrow, bouldery rift that dropped into a mud-floored "chamber". Climbs in the rift could not be passed. There is the tantalising sound of water falling in the distance.
Substantial pieces of prehistoric pottery were found on the slope up to 341 entrance. When excavated they were found to have carbon adhering the internal face and two pieces were decorated with characteristic "mamelones", protrusions or nipples, also seen on the pottery found in site 2139. A drawing from Ruiz Cobo Jesús et al, 2008, p134 is found here.
Reference Smith P et al, 2015 has a summary of the archaeological work carried out within 2004 - 2016.
References: Corrin J et al, 1978; anon., 1977b (logbook); anon., 1978 (logbook); Corrin J S and Smith P, 1981; anon., 1990b (logbook); anon., 2003b (Easter logbook); anon., 2003c (summer logbook); Corrin Juan, 2005; Ruiz Cobo Jesús et al, 2008 (photo, survey and drawing); anon., 2014c (summer logbook); Smith P et al, 2015;
Entrance picture : yes
Underground picture(s): entrance slope
Underground videos: entrance slope Attempting to descend the 1977 ladder pitch with SRT
The area of the prehistoric pottery The prehistoric pottery in situ below the entry of site 341
Detailed Survey : 1:500 (Easter 2003) : 1:500 (Summer 2003) : 1:500 (summer 2014)
Line Survey :
On area survey :
Survex file : yes (summer 2014) (Amended magnetic declination December 2013 to align with Eur79 grid and coordinates altered to fit ETRS89 datum, April 2014.)