Manor Farm Swallet - Wed 9 Nov 2022

Andy Sparrow, Lawrence Wilson, Peter Sanders, Rich Nurse, Seán Tidey, Will Puddy, Yvette Jordan, Rachel Sparrow

We all met in the Charterhouse centre car park at 19:30 thankfully the heavy rain had passed so managed to get changed and fettle tackle in the dry before walking 300m down the road to Manor Farm then followed the footpath to the newly refurbished and gated entrance.

Whilst the entrance shaft was being rigged, Andy kindly volunteered to drop our access fee to the farm, unfortunately what he thought was a gate turned out to be a length of fence resting between two walls, no comedy value at all as he ended up flat on his back with legs in the air.

The 50 foot entrance shaft was quickly descended on ladders then a bit of crawling in a blasted passage saw us at the top of September Rift a short but rather restricted pitch that Yvette rigged with ladder and lifeline. At the bottom a descending passage was followed that soon picked up the stream way before arriving in the large and well decorated Curtain Chamber.

At the end of Curtain Chamber a 6m waterfall pitch descends to follow the fine stream way, whilst this was being rigged Rich and myself followed the bypass route that ends at the foot of the waterfall.

From here the impressive stream was followed down Fluted Pots to Albert’s Eye a low “lavatory pan” then to the Stream Junction where another stream joins from the right. We continued downstream in impressive passage that started to decrease in width, up until here the stream had a bit of a whiff of the farmyard, that changed as we got to Sarum Inlet where the walls were thick with rotten slurry, gagging we climbed up out of the stream through a small hole in the roof into fresh air in NHASA gallery. This is a large fossil passage that is well decorated, the end of which provided a suitable turn around point.

We returned the same way we came realising how much height we needed to gain, September Rift is tighter on the way up and the entrance shaft longer. Arriving on the surface we made our way back to the cars in ones and twos to keep the noise down, all back and changed by 22:00

This is a fantastic cave that would surely get a lot more traffic if it wasn’t for the slurry. Thanks to Andy for organising with the farmer and sorting the tackle. All made it to the Hunters for a debrief.

— Lawrence Wilson 17/11/2022

Last modified: 19 Nov 2022 18:24