In the late 1990’s whilst digging in Lingmoor cave and Dowsons Pot members of the Scarborough Caving Club as we where then known, noticed the stream outside sinking in an inconspicuous straight section.
For the next couple of Thursday nights we dug a 15ft hole through sand and silt, then out of the blue the heavens opened, the beck flooded and the hole filled in.
Several months later it was noticed that the hole had eroded and enlarged to a much larger and shallower hole. Several more month later this hole had shifted 10ft downstream and when the water levels where right it swallowed the whole beck.
We started to dig again, this time finding some large blocks which led to the top of a very tight rift. Several weeks was spent enlarging this rift getting approximately 15ft below stream level. We could feel open space below and intended to descend on our next visit. Then it happened again, the heavens opened, and sand and gravel completely choked the rift.
We soon got side-tracked on other projects until in June 2007 we met the Yorkies who were keen to dig and by August the joint team had discovered Excalibur Pot. Over the coming weeks we explored the caving finding a whole network of passages including a small active streamway (The Honey River) which was only the second active streamway on the North York Moors after Bogg Hall Rising. However we knew that we still had not found the main streamway which must carry a large quantity of Hutton Beck.
Then Chalky Thomas and Andy and Richard Brennan went down a particularly unpleasant bedding and to their disbelief found the main streamway. This was probably the most spectacular find on the North York Moors ever. Since then we have continued to explore the cave pushing it to over a mile long.
To read a full description in the journal or buy a survey visit the Yorkies shop site.
Access to Excalibur is controlled via a CNCC permit system.
Any BCA-registered caving club can apply for a permit to visit the cave, and short notice requests can usually be accommodated. The need to control access derives from the cave being on a private shooting estate, which is also agriculturally active. Details of the access conditions and contact details for requesting a permit can be found on the CNCC website.