Cheddar chamber discovery thought to be largest ever in Mendip Hills (From This is The West Country)
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Cheddar chamber discovery thought to be largest ever in Mendip Hills
A GIANT chamber the size of an aircraft carrier has been discovered by cave diggers.
Historian Nick Chipchase from Taunton and his Tuesday Diggers group uncovered the huge 30m high and 60m long cave, named ‘The Frozen Deep’, in Cheddar last week after a search lasting more than two years.
The diggers worked for around four hours every Tuesday since 2010 until they finally made a breakthrough on September 4.
It is thought to be the largest cave ever discovered in the Mendip Hills, a record previously held by GB Cavern, a 6m wide by 12m high by 90m long chamber discovered in the 1940s.
Nick, 65, said: “It’s enormous – I’d say it’s got one of the biggest arches in the UK. When we first got down there we couldn’t believe it.
“It’s about 300 to 400ft below the surface and with the most powerful lights we couldn’t see the end.
“We thought it would be apt to name the cave after something Charles Dickens had a big hand in given it would be his 200th birthday this year.
“Given the huge white stalagmites look like ice it just seemed a perfect fit – hopefully, people will remember the year now, 2012. The Jessica Ennis chamber didn’t quite work!”
Their efforts proved worthwhile when they gained access to the impressive cave containing stalagmites, stalactites and 5m tall pillars – a sight which at the moment has been seen by fewer people than have stood on the surface of the moon.
The group returned to the cave on Friday carrying out conservation work and went back on Tuesday to continue exploring the chamber – work which is expected to last several months.