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Long Churn cave Copyright Yorkshire Dales Guides

Long Churns and Alum Pot

Alum Pot is a dramatic open shaft which is located on the slopes of Ingleborough, above the hamlet of Selside. The cave is on private land and a small payment is required at Selside Farm before a walk of around 1km on a good path takes you to the entrance.

The shaft is surrounded by a wall to prevent sheep, or people, falling down the 70m deep pothole. Please do not go any closer unless you are a suitably equipped caver. There is a good view where a stream crosses the path and falls into Alum Pot.

Underground Alum Pot connects with Diccan Pot and Long Churns cave – the latter is one of the most popular beginner caving trips in the Yorkshire Dales. There is a superb stream passage that can be explored with climbs and pools, and the famous squeeze called the ‘Cheese press’.

John Birkbeck made the first successful descent of Alum Pot in 1848 when a group of nine men were lowered to the shaft floor in a large bucket winched down by a group of railway workers. Another successful complete descent of Alum Pot took place in 1870, when a group of people were lowered to the floor using a cage and windlass operated by navvies working on the Settle-Carlisle Line.