OUCC Proceedings 2 (1963)

Tip Pot (Casterton Fell Area)

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This is a description of a previously unreported small addition to the Casterton Fell underworld. The name is obvious, since the shakehole in which it is situated, and the adjoining one, are used as the rubbish tip for Bullpot Farm. For this reason, and the presence of a dead sheep in the shakehole, it has been little visited. However, thanks to the efforts of the Earby Pothole Club, two entrances were forced, but only the lower one is now open.

The shakeholes are just over the north wall of the green lane from Bullpot to Barbon, about a hundred yards from the metalled road to Bullpot. The open entrance is at the bottom of the most easterly shakehole of the two, and consists of a small chimney into a low chamber. This part of the pot is particularly loose and shattered, the Dent Fault running nearby. The chamber contains loose boulders, rusty tin cans, and various sheep bones. From here the whole cave is on a skew to the vertical. A sloping descent to the left leads to a small chamber. Here a belay is found (50 foot belay) and a 25 foot ladder is threaded through the crawl to the left. The pitch is very awkward, and once the ladder is in place, it is easier to approach it feet first. At the bottom of the pitch, a climb over boulders leads to the lowest point of the chamber, whence a low crawl doubles back at the low level, until a corner is reached. This is a muddy duck in a pool, and leads to a small chamber at the start of a very narrow parallel rift passage. The passage is only negotiable for about 12 feet further, although water can be heard ahead. A hammer and chisel may make a way possible, but chemical persuasion may have a ruinous effect on the upper reaches.

This final passage is heading towards Bullpot of the Witches, and it is very likely that it will soon reach this. The vertical depth at this point is about 100 feet. With regard to the point of emergence in Bullpot, an aven descends to the west of the passage in '49 Cavern to the north of Lake Chamber. Signs of a passage are visible above.

The heading of the rift in which all the passages lie at various levels, is the same as the predominant one in the northern reaches of Bullpot, namely, parts of N. Avens Passage, Flowstone Rift, and Lake Chamber. It seems obvious that they should all be attributed to development along the Dent Fault, which runs in the same direction.

Standard : V. Diff. Pot. Well worth the short time needed to explore it and have a go at the final squeeze.

G. Stevens.