Thrupe Lane Swallet

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Thrupe Lane Swallet
LocationCroscombe, Somerset
OS gridST603458
Coordinates51°12′38″N 2°34′08″W / 51.21047°N 2.568998°W / 51.21047; -2.568998Coordinates: 51°12′38″N 2°34′08″W / 51.21047°N 2.568998°W / 51.21047; -2.568998
Depth117 metres
Length1417 metres
Cave surveyGeological Conservation Review
RegistryMendip Cave Registry[1]
Thrupe Lane Swallet
Site of Special Scientific Interest
Area of SearchSomerset

Thrupe Lane Swallet (grid reference ST603458) is a 0.5 hectares (1.2 acres) geological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Somerset, notified in 1992. It is also a Geological Conservation Review site.

The name Thrupe Lane comes from the nearby hamlet of Thrupe, which in Anglo-Saxon meant dairy farm.[2]

The swallet is a small, single pothole cave system that is dominated by a series of deep (117 metres (384 ft)) and mainly vertical passages, which follow fault lines, natural joints in the rock and mineral veins.[3] It shows a form of cave development not seen elsewhere in the Mendips and contains the tallest vertical shaft in any known cave on the Mendip Hills, Atlas Pot, which is 60 metres (197 ft) deep.[4] The stream that flows through the cave is one of those that feeds St Andrew's Wells in the grounds of the Bishop's Palace in Wells.[5]

Thrupe Lane Swallet was first entered in 1974 following digging by three caving groups. The entry shaft has been blasted open to ensure a stable entrance.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Thrupe Lane Swallet". Mendip Cave Registry & Archive. Retrieved 2012-03-30.
  2. ^ Witcombe, Richard (2009). Who was Aveline anyway?: Mendip's Cave Names Explained (2nd ed.). Priddy: Wessex Cave Club. p. 180. ISBN 978-0-9500433-6-4.
  3. ^ "Thrupe Lane Swallet" (PDF). English Nature. Retrieved 2007-01-29.
  4. ^ "Mendip Caves: Eastern Mendip". British Geological Survey. 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-06.
  5. ^ "Thrupe Lane Swallet". Mendip Cave Registry & Archive. 2009. Retrieved 2012-03-30.
  6. ^ Irwin, David John; Knibbs, Anthony J. (1999). Mendip Underground: A Cavers Guide. Bat Products. ISBN 0-9536103-0-6.—which also contains a detailed description of the cave.

External links[edit]