MCG masthead - image of Departure Lounge, Upper Flood Swallet (c) C Allison 2007

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Upper Flood Swallet



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There is a well-known Mendip caving saying which goes: "Caves are where your find 'em", meaning that many Mendip caves have had to be dug open. Whilst some caves were easily discovered following short "digs", many others have been reluctant to give up their secrets.

After the MCG was formed in 1954, our digging activity was initially concentrated in the area between Cheddar - Charterhouse - Nordrach. Blackmoor Shaft and Blackmoor Swallet were dug from 1961/2, as was Timber Hole.

In 1962 a major dig was undertaken at Coopers Hole. In 1961, Christmas Crawl was opened in Longwood to make the connection to August Hole. Also in 1961 Pinetree Pot and Ubley Hill Pot were opened.

In the mid-1960's, cave exploration was put aside as we were building our cottage, an ex-army wooden hut on land next to Stirrup Cup.

In 1968 a major storm wreaked havoc on Mendip. But it's an ill wind that blows no good, and a new cave was opened by the flood waters - Upper Flood Swallet.

At first a joint dig with WCC, eventually this became an MCG project. Intense activity failed to be rewarded with major passage, and by the mid 1970's we were building yet again!

Our attention returned to Upper Flood again in 1985 and we were rewarded when the spectacular Midnight Passage was entered.

By 1987 the Red Room was reached, but a way on was not found until 2006 when Tim Francis and Julie Hesketh made the spectacular breakthrough into The Departure Lounge and a further 2 km cave beyond.

Upper Flood is now over 4km long / 129m deep making it the 4th longest cave on Mendip (at March 2008). Details of the current digs in Upper Flood will be found here

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Page last updated 12 June 2013

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Mendip Caving Group. UK Charity Number 270088. The object of the Group is, for the benefit of the public, the furtherance of all aspects of the exploration, scientific study and conservation of caves and related features. Membership shall be open to anyone over the age of 18 years with an interest in the objects of the Group.