Projects & Digs

River Dove:
Guinevere’s Slit and The Well

History

The River Dove flows down the valley of Douthwaite Dale and through Keldholme, past Bogg Hall Rising, one valley to the west of Hutton Beck and Excalibur Pot. The water from The Dove sinks around the Fish Farm at Douthwaite Dale and over several patches south of here, often leaving the riverbed completely dry downstream of the sinks.

The water that sinks from The Dove resurges at Bogg Hall Rising, along with the water sinking at Excalibur Pot and Jenga Pot. Work at The Dove has been limited as many of the sinks have been filled with concrete. One sink further down the valley however was found in 2009 (Guinevere’s Slit). This drops through a narrow slot in the streambed 4 m into a river passage which sumps after several metres in both directions.

In the nearby field, an old well also drops into submerged river passage. Some limited exploration has been performed by divers, who found that beyond the constricted entrance the sumped passage opens out to reasonable proportions. The divers lacked the equipment to persue this exploration further than approximately 20m, but report that open sumped passage awaits exploration here. Divers are currently revisiting this site.

It is assumed that the water sinking at the top sinks of the River Dove (around the fish farm and just south of it) flows along a fault directly down the valley, and just beneath the surface, until reaching Guinevere’s Slit. Downstream of here is the passage of The Well, and downstream further the sumped passage is assumed to gain the water from Hutton Beck and then dip steeply to the bottom of The Font sump pool in Bogg Hall Cave.

Current work

Without diving gear little more can be done at The Well and Guinevere’s Slit, however, the potential for an extensive and spacious network of cave passage exists downstream. As of October 2011 divers are currently exploring the sumps and we hope to bring news on this during the coming few years.

Survey

The River Dove, The Well and Guinevere’s Slit have been included on the ‘master survey’ (which includes Excalibur Pot, Bogg Hall Rising and Hutton Beck). This data is not publicly available however if you have a particular interest then please do get in touch.

Access

The entire stretch of the River Dove is on private land and permission should be sought if planning a visit. Please contact us for details.

References

  • Moorland Caver
    Gibbs, J & Stewart, R.
    J.M.G. Publishing, 2003, ISBN: 095460590X