Caves of South Wales Dragon

Agen Allwedd

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Overview
Agen Allwedd also known simply as Aggy is the longest cave system on Llangattock. The cave is a famous roost for bats which can be seen roosting in the side passages of the entrance series in the winter months. The cave system is one of the longest in the country with over 30km of passages and as such offers a number of classic caving trips.
Length 30,000m +
Altitude 366m
Grid Reference SO 18758 15895
History
The Agen Allwedd entrance was first investigated on Christmas Eve 1949 by Brian Price and a couple of companions, who managed to move a boulder blocking progress. In a follow-up visit the passage was explored further but thought to close down. On the 2nd January 1950 accompanied by Harold Hicken, David Seagrove they found the way through to the main passage and explored it up to the First Boulder Choke. It was not until 1957 that the Hereford Caving Club managed to dig through this choke and enter the main complex of the cave. In late 2005 while digging in Iles Inlet in an attempt to find the elusive connection to Daren Cilau a team of explorers discovered 300m of the most beautiful passage in the system ending in the spectacularly decorated Corkscrew Chamber.
British Caving Library - Interview with Brian Price on the discovery of Agen Allwedd
British Caving Library - Interview with Clive Westlake on the creation of the Grand Circle
British Caving Library - Interview with Martyn Farr on diving in Agen Allwedd
British Caving Library - Interview with Mel Davies on the first excavation of Upper Trident Passage
British Caving Library - Interview with Paul Hartwright on the discovery of the Summertime Series
Location
Agen Allwedd is located on the old Llangattock tramroad about 1700m west of the Chelsea Spelaeological Society cottage - Whitewalls. The original very tight entrance to the cave is no longer used, instead the gated Ogof Gam entrance is used.
Llangattock Google map showing the location of Agen Allwedd and other caves in the area.
Location map - click marker to show entrance photo
Access
The cave is gated for conservation reasons. The access is managed on behalf of the CCW through the Mynydd Llangattwg Cave Management / Advisory Committee
Description
Agen Allwedd is a long system with areas of complex route finding so a full description of the cave is not given here. There are several notable standard routes that can be undertaken in the cave. A trip through the First Boulder Choke into Baron's Chamber and then down the mile long Main Passage with its impressive dried mud floor to the Music Room offers a gentle introduction to this cave. For the more adventurous the Grand Circle following the main streamway through the Second, Third and Fourth Boulder Chokes to the main sump and then returning via the long and unpleasant Southern Stream Passage is one of South Wales most classic trips. The Inner and Outer Circle routes accessed via the Turkey Streamway offer arguably the more interesting trips in the cave, with pristine crystal covered passage walls in Selenite Needle Passage, the massive Dome of St Pauls and the very interesting Swiss Village Mud formations. In recent years an attempt to forge a link with the neighbouring Ogof Daren Cilau has resulted in the discovery of some of the most impressive formations in the UK in Iles Inlet, accessed via Southern Stream Passage and the Priory Road.
Tackle
No tackle required on the standard routes.
References
Cambrian Cave Registry entry for Agen Allwedd
Descent 188 Article p20-22 - The Courtesan Beckons | Tom Foord
Chelsea Spel├Žological Society Newsletter | December 2005 | John Stevens
Caves of South Wales | Tim Stratford | ISBN: 1-871890-03-9 | Published by Cordee
Selected Caves of Britain and Ireland | Des Marshall - Donald Rust | ISBN: 1-871890-43-8 | Cordee
A Caver's View of the Clydach River | Theo Schuurmans | Cwmbran Caving Club
An Exploration Journal of Llangattwg Mountain | Chelsea Spelaeological Society Records V19 - 1992
Warnings
Turkey Streamway and the Main Stream Passage should be avoided in wet weather.
The Second Boulder Choke should be treated with care as boulders have moved here in the past.
Disclaimer
The photographs and information of this page has been provided to help cavers planning trips. Caving can be a dangerous activity, if you are interested in exploring caves please join a caving club so you can enjoy a safe introduction to this sport. Local caving clubs are listed on the links page or you can visit try caving for more options.
If you feel that any of the information is incorrect or should be updated please contact us.