News: Breakthrough in Tween Twins Hole, Burrington Combe, Somerset

A major breakthrough has been made in Tween Twins Hole, Burrington Combe, Somerset. Darkness Below has received the following report from the diggers:

Jonathan Williams in Tween Twins Hole. Photo courtesy of Pete Hann.

After many years of work a team of Wessex Cave Club diggers have made an interesting discovery at Tween Twins Hole in Burrington Combe, Mendip. Tween Twins, known to members of the WCC as “Fester Hole”, has been worked sporadically since the early 1980’s, with interest in the site re-kindled in 2008 as part of the J-Rat DigFest celebrations.

On Valentine’s Day last year, a well decorated rift was entered by the team. Named after the day of discovery, it gave access to a partially filled phreatic tube through which a good draught flowed. Over 100 trips into the cave followed during 2015 and by February this year open space could be seen ahead of the terminal dig face at the bottom of a 10m deep rift.

On Saturday 13th February almost one year to the day since Valentine’s was entered the team assembled for the breakthrough and were rewarded with an estimated 200 feet of large extremely well decorated passage.

From the onset, priority at this Site of Special Scientific Interest has been conservation, with taping being completed on the day after discovery. The cave gives a good idea of just how well decorated many of the popular Burrington caves might have been in the past. With the permission and approval of both the landowner and Natural England, the site has now been gated and a leader system established.

Jonathan Williams in Waterlily Chamber. Photo courtesy of Pete Hann.

For conservation reasons, visits are limited to three experienced cavers who must be accompanied by an approved leader. For further information on access to the cave please visit  Bookings can also be made through the website.

The team are grateful for the assistance of Linda Wilson of the University of Bristol Spelaeological Society for liaising with the landowner to obtain his approval of the conservation measures and access arrangements, and also for obtaining the SSSI consent to the gating from Natural England.

Report: Jonathan Williams on behalf of the Tween Twins/Fester Hole Diggers.