Caves of South Wales Dragon

Eglwys Faen

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Overview
This very accessible cave has numerous entrances and a variety of passages from the large Main Chamber through to short crawls making this cave a great introduction to caving.
Length 1340m
Altitude 351m
Grid SO 19285 15684
History
The largest entrance, high up and to the west leads into the Main Chamber and has long been known, this massive chamber (the Stone Church) giving its name to the cave. In 1944 the main cave was surveyed by Brian Price and then in 1956 the Upper Series was discovered and surveyed by the BNSSS. In 1984 John Cooper and Arthur Millett did several digging trips at the base of the waterfall beside Eglwys Faen in attempt to follow the route of the water that had been dye traced to Ogof Capel. During the digging of this shaft, an additional route into Eglwys Faen was created.
Location
Eglwys Faen is located along the Llangattock tramroad about 1000m to the west of the Chelsea Speleological Societies Cottage Whitewalls. Following the tramroad around the mountain a large bend is encountered with some old quarries on the bend. It is in the rock outcrop on the bend that the numerous entrances to this cave can be found.
Llangattock Google map showing the location of Eglwys Faen and other caves in the area.
Location map - click marker to show entrance photo
Access
No known access controls.
Description
The path to the right of the Oval Entrance leads up the slope to the entrance to the Main Chamber, this is about 60m long and at at the rear degenerates into a flat out crawl that leads to a squeeze that gives entry to the smaller Inner Chamber. At the end of this chamber is a boulder choke, through which on the right hand side is entry up to The Warren, a high level series of crawls that are still being dug. Throughout The Warren a strong draught is felt, but the way on to the cave beyond is still elusive. From the right hand side of the Main Chamber a passage leads to the Western Series where a concrete dam is found near the Glump Sump, beyond this dam the passage continues to a boulder choke. From the left hand side of the Main Chamber a passage leads to the Eastern Series which starts as a walking passage. This splits with the route on the left going to the Oval Entrance and the two small entrances at the side of it. Going right at the junction passes under the Aven Entrance where daylight can be seen. Beyond this are crawls and squeezes to reach another junction. To the left are more crawls to reach the base of the Waterfall Entrance. To the right at the junction leads to a canal with another route to its left going to the Waterfall Entrance. At the end of the canal is a dam that allows entry to St Patrick's Passage which leads to a bailable sump and an extensive choke and digs beyond. The numerous entrances, generally dry cave and lack of serious hazards makes this cave quite popular with beginners.
Tackle
No tackle is required.
References
Eglwys Faen Survey - For Historical Interest Only
Cambrian Cave Registry entry for Eglwys Faen
UKcaving Wiki entry for Eglwys Faen
Caves of South Wales | Tim Stratford | ISBN: 0904405354 | Published by 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
Nothing of note.
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.