Friday, 19 November 2010

Stump Cross Cavern and a tribute to Geoff Workman (Craven Pothole Club)

 Way back in the year of 1858 Galena (lead) miners sank a shaft 15 meters in depth near Stubbe or Stump Cross (near Grassington ) to reach the ore and in doing so they discovered what is now known as "Stump Cross Caverns Show Cave" in 1860. Miners did not see any value in these natural caverns but  William Newbould and Mark Newbould who were Galena Miners from Derbyshire had seen that the show caves at Castleton were very popular and so thought it was possible to make a profitable business from the public and so charged 1 shilling to view the caverns per visitor this was back in 1863 and has continued to this date although not at the same price.

  Many remains have been found inside this show cave some have been Bison, Reindeer, Wolf, and many other small mammals also there has been Wolverine remains (very few of these fossils have been found in the British Isles) and from these remains the Wolverine cave obtained its name within Stump Cross Cavern, these remains are on display inside the visitor's centre.

 These remains have been studied and come from several age ranges between 35.000 to 200.00 years ago giving information to climate and vegetation been similar to those found in Canada, Siberia and Scandinavia of modern day times. There are 3.5 miles of passages within the cave although most are not open to the public they are hard going and only for the experienced cavers.

 Geoff Workman discovered a well decorated passage in 1996 which is now called "Reindeer Cavern", Geoff is now in his 80's and still is a regular caver/Potholer and miner with active digging still going on pushing old back filled passages to this date.

 Back in 1963 A record attempt was achieved by Geoff Workman for staying alone underground for an impressive 105 days inside Stump Cross Cavern in an area not open to the public

Please View these 2 links

Time to go in...

http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=43409
Time to come out 105 days later...

http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=43699

A birthday party held for Geoff Workman underground in Stump Cross Cavern exactly where Geoff stayed for the 105 day record...

Geoff Workman above ground in the visitors centre...


























Above ground at the Barbi the night before the Fence Hole Dig...

Fence Hole Dig....
Looking back to top side..


An original Stemple...


Geoff at work.....Digging.....



A look into Fence Hole Man Made shaft...



Final shot of the day.....thanks Geoff...



There is an excellent book by Geoff workman titled "105 Days Below" which is well worth a read.....
or better still visit Stump Cross Caverns and possibly bump into Geoff Workman....


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