Welcome to the Mendip Cave Registry and Archive's on-line collection of caving log books and publications.

On this site you will find several complete photographic records of caving log books from clubs and individuals. The contents of these books have been freely released to the general community by their authors for reference and interest.

Also in this collection are photographic and electronic versions of historic caving club journals, newsletters, publications and other materials.

The site is organised into folders, within which are thumbnail images of the pages in the original log book. Click a thumbnail to view a larger version of the page.

Note: Copyright for the text and pictures in these log books and publications remains with their original authors. The Mendip Cave Registry and Archive takes no responsibility for errors or misinformation contained within these materials, nor will it be liable for any offence taken or injury caused.

To conserve space the images available here are generally reduced in both size and quality from the original scans. If you require access to the higher resolution versions please get in touch with the MCRA.

ATLAS
ATLAS

Digging logs from the Association of Thrupe Lane Advanced Speleologists at various sites between 1990 and 2002 are available for download as PDFs from the links below: DigCommenced Ended Pages Eighteen Acre 13 Oct 1993 9 Apr 1997 8 Cairo Shaft 16 Oct 1997 29 Nov 1997 1 Clay Holes 11 Jun 1994 30 Sep 1995 4 Cook's Wood Quarry Cave 31 Mar 1996 31 Mar 1996 1 Dave Mitchell's Dig 19 Apr 1997# 21 Oct 1998 10 Frog Pot 17 Sep 1997 30 Dec 1998 8 His Lordship's Hole 16 Jan 1999 27 Jan 1999 1 Honeymead Hole 27 Apr 1996 16 Apr 1997 25 Little Crapnell Swallet 29 Apr 1995 17 Dec 1995 16 Longwood Valley Sink 3 Jan 1993 11 Dec 1994 11 Rushy Ground Swallet 5 Oct 1994 10 May 1995 3 Thrupe Swallet 5 Dec 1999 20 Feb 2002 24 Viaduct Sink 1 Jul 1990 26 Nov 1995 15

# - earlier digs recorded from 4 Feb 1962

Digging logs from 2002 onwards are available on this site in the Digging Log Archives folder.

In addition, photographed log books for Viaduct Sink, Longwood Valley Sink and the Thrupe Lane Swallet Bleak Hall dig are available below.

Alan Gray
Alan Gray (!)
A full index spreadsheet (XLSX) is available.
Location/owner: Alan Gray. Photographed/scanned by: Alan Gray. Indexed by Alan Gray.
Alan Mills
Alan Mills
An index spreadsheet (XLS) is available.
Location/owner: Wells Museum. Photographed/scanned by: Alan Gray. Indexed by Alan Gray.
Axbridge Caving Group Logbooks 1960 - 2005
Axbridge Caving Group Logbooks 1960 - 2005
The log book collection of the Axbridge Caving Group. Also available for download is a full index spreadsheet (MS Excel format) of the individual cave sites mentioned in each volume.
Location/owner: Alan Gray. Photographed/scanned by: Alan Gray. Indexed by ACG.
Axbridge Caving Group Publications 1950 - 2014
Axbridge Caving Group Publications 1950 - 2014
Publications of the Axbridge Caving Group. A publications list and full index spreadsheet are available.
Location/owner: Alan Gray. Photographed/scanned by: Alan Gray. Indexed by ACG.
BEC Caving Log Books 1943-1999
BEC Caving Log Books 1943-1999

Location/owner: BEC. Photographed/scanned by: Dave Irwin, Tim Large.
BEC St Cuthberts Swallet Log Books
BEC St Cuthberts Swallet Log Books
St. Cuthbert's Swallet log books.
Location/owner: BEC. Log BookFromToPages SC-19698 Nov 19698 Jul 197288 SC-197214 Jul 197231 Dec 19728 SC-19732 Jan 197321 Apr 197650 SC-19769 May 19768 Jun 1980101 SC-19808 Jun 198031 Jul 1993254 SC-19933 Aug 19932 Aug 2003120 SC-200325 Aug 200311 Dec 201391
Charles W Smith
Charles W Smith
The notebook of Charles W Smith of Sidcot SS. A record of the caves Charles visited with SSS in 1953-54.

Location/owner: Sidcot School. Photographed/scanned by: Paul Stillman.

Dave Yeandle
Dave Yeandle
See the accompanying Index spreadsheet.
Photographed/scanned by: Alan Gray. Indexed by Alan Gray.
Dick Pike
Dick Pike
Dick Pike's caving, expedition and caving logs 1969 to 1976. An accompanying Index Spreadsheet is available for download.
Location/owner: Wells Museum. Photographed/scanned by: Alan Gray. Indexed by Alan Gray.
Don Coase
Don Coase
Don Coase's log book volume 3 (Jan-July 1945). See the Contents (MS Word document) for a list of trips recorded.
Location/owner: Wells Museum. Photographed/scanned by: Alan Gray. Indexed by Alan Gray.
Dorset Caving Group Journals 1972-1982
Dorset Caving Group Journals 1972-1982
Dorset Caving Group journals 1972-1982. An accompanying Index Spreadsheet is available for download.
Photographed/scanned by: Nigel Graham.
Eric Hensler
Eric Hensler

Eric Hensler's caving log book entries, covering the years 1934 to 1978. An index spreadsheet (MS Excel format) is available containing a list of caves visited.

Note: The log is complete despite the gaps in page numbering, presumably where pages have been removed and employed for other purposes.

Location/owner: Wells Museum. Photographed/scanned by: Alan Gray. Indexed by Alan Gray.

Five Buddles Sink
Five Buddles Sink (!)
Digging log book for Five Buddles Sink, covering activities by Tony Jarratt and members of the BEC 1996 to 1998.
Fred Davies
Fred Davies
Fred Davies' caving log books 1955 to 1960. An accompanying Index Spreadsheet is available.
Location/owner: Fred Davis. Photographed/scanned by: Alan Gray. Indexed by Alan Gray.
Geoffrey and Swarbrick
Geoffrey and Swarbrick

A Survey of the Lead, Calamine & Ochre Mines on Sandford Hill, by T. Geoffrey & J. Theodore Swarbrick, 1948 to 1951

A contents list is available. See also Two photographs from Theo Swarbrick.

Location/owner: Sidcot School. Photographed/scanned by: Alan Gray. Indexed by Alan Gray.

Gerard Platten Index
Gerard Platten Index

An index to the scrapbooks of Gerard Platten, compiled by D. J. Irwin.

The originals for most of these volumes are held at Wells Museum. See scrapbook locations for full details.

Please contact the MCRA if you know of the whereabouts of any of the missing volumes.

Location/owner: Wells Museum. Photographed/scanned by: Dave Irwin.

Hardyes School CCF
Hardyes School CCF

The credit for finding Ariel Cave, on the ‘Isle’ of Portland, Dorset, goes to the caving and climbing section of the Combined Cadet Force of Hardye’s School, Dorchester. This is a brief note of context.

The school eventually took the name of its 16C founder after a somewhat chequered history (detailed on its web-site), and was a boy’s grammar-school until the introduction of the Comprehensive System in 1980. Under this change, it was merged with the local girls’ grammar, and secondary-modern, schools; and eventually all coalesced as The Thomas Hardye School on its modern site. It is now an academy under that name; mixed, and notable for its internal and local- community involvement in both the arts and sciences. Its impressive list of extra-curricular clubs include the Combined Cadet Force (CCF); but the site gives no details of these various club’s activities.

The discovery of the cave came from the HSCCF under its Captain, Andrew MacTavish, commissioning photographs from the Royal Navy helicopter squadron based on Portland at the time, to illustrate climbing routes on the high Westcliff. The entrance, about 10m down the 30m face, was proven for HSCCF by a Dorset Caving Group (DCG) abseiling practice; but fittingly it was ex-Hardyean Ian Wolff who was first in. He alone entered the passage for a few metres to prove it open, for DCG to tell the school the good news. After the students had had first go at it, producing a preliminary survey to perhaps BCRA Grade 2 (published in the archived HSCCF training manual presented here), the school and the club co-operated on further exploring this intriguing cave, reaching two boulder chokes and its Queen’s “Entrance”. The two groups had already co-operatively explored other Portland caves in the early-1970s; especially Sandy Hole, a DCG find at the cliff base several hundred metres South from Ariel Cave.

That Shakespearean name was given by HSCCF Capt. MacTavish. Also one of the school’s English Literature teachers, he played on The Tempest–uous weather of their first exploration, complete with heavy surf breaking on the rocky shore far below! A name further punned by others with nearby Persil Rift in the 1980s; and in late-2021, by an MCRA Archivist being nominatively house-proud with his finds in that cave’s inner recesses. Others connected Ariel Cave and Sandy Hole, c.1986, via one of the mass-movement rifts that break the limestone into huge blocks. The original relationships of these caves’ fossil stream passages are still enigmatic.

Finally, Hardye’s School holds a seismograph on permanent watch, making it one of the very few schools in Britain to be part of the British Geological Survey’s national seismography network. Although the instrument is in a foyer, it is of course normally accessible to visitors only on public events held in the main hall.

Nigel Graham (WCC and former DCG), 08 January 2022.

Jack Duck 1931-35
Jack Duck 1931-35
An index spreadsheet for this log book is available.
Location/owner: Paul Duck. Photographed/scanned by: Alan Gray. Indexed by Alan Gray.
John Aylott 1969 - 1983
John Aylott 1969 - 1983
John Aylott's caving log book entries, covering a career from 1969 to 1983. See the index spreadsheet (MS Excel format) for a full cross-referenced list of the cave sites mentioned in these pages.
Location/owner: John Aylott. Photographed/scanned by: Alan Gray. Indexed by Alan Gray.
John Coote
John Coote
Photographed/scanned by: Alan Gray.
Luke Devenish
Luke Devenish
Luke William English Devenish FIExpE.

From the late 1940s until the 1980s, Luke Devenish was one of Mendip's more colourful characters, known to farmers and landowners as well as to cavers.

The complete transcriptions of Luke's logbooks, including hundreds of photographs and sketches, are available here for download as PDF files: Compendium Introduction [68 KB] Early Notebooks (1940-47) [5 MB] (see also Index Spreadsheet compiled by Alan Gray) Caving Diary Volume 1 (1947-49) [54 MB] Caving Diary Volume 2 (1949-51) [43 MB] Exploration of Ores Close Mineshafts (1957) [761 KB]

Thanks for this massive and meticulous electronic transcription effort go to Phil Hendy of the Wessex Cave Club.

Location/owner: WCC. Photographed/scanned by: Phil Hendy.

Maurice Hewins
Maurice Hewins

Maurice Hewins' caving log books. An index spreadsheet for these log books is available.

Location/owner: Maurice Hewins. Photographed/scanned by: Maurice Hewins (1958-77), Alan Gray (1981-91). Indexed by Alan Gray.

NHASA 1970-91
NHASA 1970-91
Log book of the North Hill Association for Speleological Advancement (N.H.A.S.A.) 1971 to 1991. An accompanying index spreadsheet is available for download.
Location/owner: Brian Prewer. Photographed/scanned by: Alan Gray. Indexed by Alan Gray.
Nick Chipchase
Nick Chipchase (!)
A full index spreadsheet (XLSX) for these log books is available.

Location/owner: Nick Chipchase. Photographed/scanned by: Peter Glanvill. Indexed by: Alan Gray.

Pat Cronin
Pat Cronin

Pat Cronin’s caving and digging log books 1967 to 2023.

An index spreadsheet of these log books is available, compiled by Alan Gray.

1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Paul Allen 1965-69
Paul Allen 1965-69
Volumes 1-3 are missing.
Location/owner: Paul Allen. Photographed/scanned by: Dave Irwin.
Phil Weaver 1938-39
Phil Weaver 1938-39
Location/owner: WCC.
Ralph Wills
Ralph Wills
Caving Diary of a SSSS School Boy 1921 to 1925.
Location/owner: Sidcot School. Photographed/scanned by: Alan Gray.
Ray Mansfield 1960-1985
Ray Mansfield 1960-1985

These log books were kindly photographed and compiled to PDF versions by Rob Harper. Ray's Log Books contain many press clippings and also information relating to foreign caves; only the information relating to Mendip has been included here. Index to Ray Mansfield's logs (290 KB) Logbook 1 1960-1962 (114 MB) Logbook 2 1963 (105 MB) Logbook 3 1964-1965 (36 MB) Logbook 4 1966-1967 (308 KB) Logbook 5 1968-1971 (39 MB) Logbook 6 1971-1973 (9 MB) Logbook 7 1973-1975 (15 MB) Logbook 8 1976-1977 (7 MB) Logbook 9 1978-1979 (6 MB) Logbook 10 1979-1980 (1.5 MB) Logbook 11 1980-1982 (961 KB) Logbook 12 1982-1985 (76 KB)

Location/owner: UBSS. Photographed/scanned by: Rob Harper. Indexed by Rob Harper.

Salisbury Caving Group
Salisbury Caving Group
Salisbury Caving Group log book entries from 1973-1976, plus a swan song from 1992/1993.
Photographed/scanned by: Dave Irwin.
Severn Valley Caving Club 1963-85
Sidcot School SS 1929 - 1978
Sidcot School SS 1929 - 1978

Caving log books from the Sidcot School Spelaeological Society. Also available for download is a full index spreadsheet (MS Excel format) of the individual cave sites mentioned in each volume.

Log book 10 and all log books after No. 21 (1978) are currently missing. Sidcot School SS and their associated logbooks continued through the 1980’s in to 1990’s. Please contact the MCRA if you know of the whereabouts of any Log Books post 1978.

Log Book 17 was rediscovered in the U.S. in 2017 and kindly donated back to the collection.

Location/owner: Sidcot School. Photographed/scanned by: Alan Gray. Indexed by Alan Gray.

Sir William Boyd-Dawkins 1861
Sir William Boyd-Dawkins 1861
Notes on the Exploration of Hyaena Den at Wookey Hole. Kind thanks to Wells Museum for allowing us to photograph this logbook and make it available online.
Photographed/scanned by: Alan Gray.
Tony Jarratt's Log Books
Tony Jarratt's Log Books
Tony Jarratt (1949 to 2008)

In mid 2007 Tony and I were discussing the amazing historical caving archive contained within his Log Books. I suggested that I photographed them and was surprised that Tony agreed since, to my knowledge, he had never loaned them to anyone. I also think that Tony was surprised that someone would be daft enough to photograph them.

Tony also informed Richard Witcombe and myself that he would be delighted if the Log Books could be uploaded to the MCRA web site and then they could be a resource for the caving community.

Tony’s Log Books provide a complete record of all the caving trips that he undertook between 1964 and 2008. Many of us will remember Tony in the Hunters or in Bat Products completing Log Book entries.

Each entry consists of the following – Cave Name, Area, Location, Duration of the trip, Who was also on the trip and a description. In addition some entries are annotated Dive, Rescue, Discovery, Connection.

The main caving areas that Tony caved in are Mendip, Scotland and India (Meghalaya) but Tony caved all over the world.

The Log Books have not been electronically indexed (as yet), but Tony has included a written index to each book in its final pages. There is however a Word Document available for download listing all the discoveries Tony has been involved with.

There are 2871 pages and Tony spent 11,481 hours underground.

Have Fun

Alan Gray Electronic Transcriptions by Peter BurgessPeter has been steadily working on the task of transcribing Tony's handwritten pages into electronic documents, which have the great advantage that they can be searched. The fruits of his labours are available for download as PDF files: Volume 1 (7 MB) Volume 2 (11 MB) Volume 3 (2 MB) Volume 4 (5 MB) Volume 5 (1 MB)A massive thank you Peter from the MCRA, and keep up the good work!Tony's Log Books

Location/owner: Wells Museum. Photographed/scanned by: Alan Gray. Indexed by Peter Burgess (volumes 1-5), Alan Gray (discoveries).

Tony Philpott 1956-68
Tony Philpott 1956-68
An Index Spreadsheet is available for these logbooks.
Vince Simmonds
Vince Simmonds

Digging logs for Hallowe'en Rift, Wookey Hole and Home Close Hole/Wigmore Swallet, including photographs and details of history and archaeology. See also Vince's website at mendipgeoarch.net. Hallowe'en Rift Dig Part 1 - Early years 1982-1991 (12 pages, 283 KB) Hallowe'en Rift Dig Part 2 - 1991-2010 (22 pages, 773 KB) Hallowe'en Rift Dig Part 3 - 2011-2020 (309 pages, 15 MB) Home Close Hole Dig Log 2015-2022 (14 pages, 868 KB) Wookey Hole Dig Log 2015-2020 (118 pages, 17 MB)

Location/owner: Vince Simmonds. Compiled by Vince Simmonds.