Entrance shaft looking south
|Location||Kingsdale, North Yorkshire, UK|
|OS grid||SD 6982 7803|
|Depth||105 metres (344 ft)|
|Length||259 metres (850 ft)|
|Discovery||first descent July 1897|
Rowten Pot is one of several entrances into the West Kingsdale cave system in North Yorkshire, England. Its entrance is a shaft some 27 metres (89 ft) long, 10 metres (33 ft) wide, and at the southern end 72 metres (236 ft) deep.
A stream enters from just below the surface at the northern end. The cave is largely vertical, but at the bottom the stream flows through a short section of passage into the underground West Kingsdale river. This connects downstream with the Kingsdale Master Cave through three short sumps. Upstream, longer sumps may be followed up the valley for over 1 kilometre (3,300 ft), passing below the final pitch of Aquamole Pot.
The cave is usually descended using single rope techniques, and is popular with cavers, being spacious and offering a variety of aerial routes. The three short sumps which connect to the Kingsdale Master Cave can be free-dived.
The water which descends Rowten Pot sinks 150 metres (490 ft) to the west of the pot on the other side of Turbary Road, into a shallow horizontal cave system, known as Rowten Caves.
Rowten Pot was first described in Balderstone's 1890 Ingleton, Bygone and Present, where it was variously given the names of Rowantree Gulf, Rowting Hole, and Rowton Holes. Balderstone claims to have explored down the gully to a depth of 30 metres (98 ft). It was first fully descended to the sump by a Yorkshire Ramblers' Club party in June 1897. It was not linked with Kingsdale Master Cave through the downstream sump, however, until July 1966, shortly after the discovery of the latter.
In 1939 the second recorded Yorkshire Dales caving fatality occurred in Rowten Pot. John Lambert initially fell a few feet and was made comfortable, on a ledge, by his companions. Water levels then rose, however, and he either fell or was washed off down a 15 metres (49 ft) drop and died. Such was the effort required to rescue Lambert's companions, who were trapped by water in the shaft, that the BBC broadcast an appeal for any available potholers to help.:p.32–36
The first fatality for the Cave Rescue Organisation on a rescue occurred here in 1986, when Dave Anderson slipped from a traverse into a gully near the bottom of the last pitch when searching for two missing cavers, and drowned under the force of the water.:p.147
- Brook, Dave; Griffiths, Julian; Long, M.H.; Ryder, Phil (1994). Northern Caves 3 - The Three Counties and the North West. Skipton, North Yorkshire: Dalesman Publishing Company Ltd. pp. 11, 61. ISBN 1-85568-083-1.
- Thornber, Norman (1947). Pennine Underground. Clapham (via Lancaster): The Dalesman Publishing Company.
- Skorupka, Rupert (October–November 2002). "A Pot in Aquamole". Descent (168): 20–22.
- CNCC Rigging Guide Volume 1. Council of Northern Caving Clubs. January 2012.
- Gardner, John (Spring 1971). "KMC - Rowten Free Dive". Lancaster University Speleological Journal (Lancaster: Lancaster University Speleological Society) 1 (1): 10.
- Balderstone, Robert; Balderstone, Margaret (1890). Ingleton: Bygone and Present. London: Simpkin, Marshall and Co. pp. 60–63.
- Swithinbank, J.W. (1902). "Rowten Pot, Gragreth". Yorkshire Ramblers' Club Journal (Leeds: Yorkshire Ramblers' Club) 1 (4): 316–324.
- Brook, Dave (June–July 1966). "The Kingsdale Master Cave". News Sheet (University of Leeds Speleological Association): 28.
- Eyre, Jim; Frankland, John (1988). Race Against Time. Dent, Sedbergh, Cumbria: Lyon Equipment (Books). ISBN 0-9506874-4-8.
- Robertson, Nigel (Summer 1990). "Short, Sharp Shock at Rowten Pot". Caves & Caving (48): 31.
- Wookey (1994). "Bolting Tatty - A Seven Part Epic". Cambridge Underground. pp. 17–19.
- "Destruction Test Results - Resin Bonded ECO Anchors". Council of Northern Caving Clubs. 1993-04-20.