Cave Guide Books
Updated: 9 January 2014
- SELECTED CAVES OF BRITAIN AND IRELAND Compiled by Des Marshall and
Donald Rust. Cordee, Leicester; 1997. 256 11-by-18-centimeter pages. Color and
black-and-white photos, area maps. ISBN 1-871890-43-8. £11.95
- HISTORY OF CAVE SCIENCE The exploration and study of limestone
caves, to 1900 by Trevor R Shaw OBE PhD CEng FGS with a forward by Prof
Hubert Trimmel. xiv + 338 pp 88 illus (many are photographs) 2nd edition,
fully revised and reprinted by the Sydney Speleological Society 1992. The
speleological world has long been awaiting a background work such as this.
For those undertaking research, a review of previous literature and work in
this field is of paramount importance. The meticulous detail and scope of this
work will undoubtably render it a classic. In 5 parts: Cave Exploration, Karst
Hydrology, Speleology, with appendices, bibliography and index. The period
covered by this study is mainly from the 16th century to 1900. This book is
the only title on this subject and is an essential reference work for
librarians, karst institutes and speleologists. new edition SB £30.00
- 2006 DIRECTORY OF BRITISH CAVING CLUBS compiled by Tony Oldham. 25
pp of very small print. Lists all the British Caving Clubs known with date of
formation, number of members, publications issued and other relevant
information such as location of club huts, special interests catered for,
meetings places, email addresses, etc. Many clubs now have websites and
this section of the directory has been significantly extended. A handy
reference work. Card covers. New edition January 2006. £5.00 pf
- MINING AND MINING LAMPS Ask Mike Moore at the address below for a
- THE COMPLETE CAVING MANUAL by Andy Sparrow, Crowood Press, May 1997,
- THE CONCISE CAVES OF DEVON by A D Oldham, J E A Oldham and J Smart.
1986 revised January 1991, with a note by Jack Baer Oct 1996. ii + 62pp + 
+ 12 + pp supplements, including the Complete Caves of Devon [list of
caves by NGR]. 40 surveys, 7 maps, 5 photos, with summaries in English,
French and German. The long out of print "Limestones and Caves of Devon" was
criticized as being too verbose and of little interest to the sporting caver.
This present volume attemps to overcome these failings by omitting both
references and all caves which are filled in or quarried away. This new
revised edition is both 1/3 the price and 1/2 number of pages than its
predecessor, even so over 270 caves are described, many with surveys.
Esssential reading for anyone considering caving in Devon. SB £10.00
(only one copy left).
See latest cave access news.
- THE CAVES OF CORNWALL by Tony Oldham 2014 30 pp, text only available
by email. POA. A DVD is to follow. It will include photos and surveys.
To cover handling. 3.00 post free in the UK.
Mendip including Avon
- CAVES OF THE AVON GORGE Pt 1: The Clifton or Leigh Woods Side.
Duplicated v & 65 pp, 8 plates, 16 surveys, 2 cartoons. By The Speleo
Group, Rodway School. some pp in photocopy. £3.00 [out of print]
- CAVES OF THE AVON GORGE Pt 2: The Clifton or Eastern Side of the
Gorge. 72 pp, surveys, ecological study of Hades Caves, 6 plates, fold out
map, figs, some pages in photocopy. £3.00 [out of print]
- A MAN DEEP IN MENDIP The Caving Diaries of Harry Savory 1910-1921
edited by John Savory 1989 176 pp 100 B&W photos. Historically important, his
photographs show beautiful formations long since destroyed. HB DW
- THE MENDIP CAVER'S ROPEWORK GUIDE by Andy Sparrow 1991 86 pp over
60 illus. The author, a caving instructor, offers some sound advice, nicely
illustrated. SB £7.95
- MENDIP UNDERGROUND / A Caver's Guide by D J Irwin and A Jarrett
1999 240 pp photos 7 maps. Many new caves are described and full details
given of the very complex access arrangements. SB £14.00
- MENDIP: ITS SWALLET CAVES AND ROCK SHELTER by H E Balch 2nd Edition
1948 156 pp 34 plates. Classic early account of exploration in Swildon's
Hole, Eastwater Cavern, Lamb Lair etc etc. SB £8.50
- THE HISTORY OF MENDIP CAVING by Peter Johnson 1967. 196 pp 20 plates
9 surveys. Long out of print but still in great demand this book describes the
early days of caving on Mendip. HB DW mint £12.00
- THE CAVES AND MINES OF ANGLESEY by Tony Oldham September 2006 ix +
57 pp, illus, surveys, 3 pages of colour photos. Anglesey is overshadowed by
the great Parys Mountain copper mine. This book describes many of the smaller
mines including the long forgotten coal mines at Berw. Usual gazetteer style:
name, ngr, description and references. £3.00 + free postage for DVD.
See Caves of North East Wales.
- THE CONCISE CAVES OF NORTH WALES by Tony Oldham 2000 iv + 57 pp,
38 surveys and maps. It is more than 15 years since the last Caves of North
Wales was published. During this time many exciting discoveries were made.
Consequently the number of caves described has risen from 140 to over 250
caves. To keep down the costs the references have been omitted from this
edition making it 2/3 the size 1/2 the cost it might have been. Complete with
an index of caves in order of NGR. £3.00 for CD
- A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF NORTH WALES CAVES by Tony Oldham March 2000 27
pp. I have revised the Concise Caves of North Wales and to reduce the number
of pages, I am publishing the bibliography as a separate book. The Mines of
North Wales will form the third book. The bibliography is set out in the
order of cave names with cross references where a cave has two or more names.
An electronic edition is also available on disc £3.00 or by email.
- An Introduction to the Caves of North East Wales by Cris Ebbs,
A4, 58 pp. Cris runs this off on his own computer and the text uses colour
as an aid to cross referencing. It has a section on caves not yet discovered!
A small section describes those caves which are not caves but which are
included as such in Tony Oldhams books and elsewhere. ISBN: 0 9522242 1 6.
£8.00 plus £1.70 p&p from Cris Ebbs <email@example.com>
Availability now uncertain.
- THREE BELOW GOWER - The Story of Cave Exploration in Gower by "The Taylors" 1991 89pp 25
illus. A pioneer caver recollects the early halcyon days in the 1950s and 60s when farmers actually
welcomed cavers. "The Taylors", Maurice Clague and his two sisters spent all their leisure hours digging
and burrowing in the caves of the Gower Peninsular in South Wales. Many of the caves were so tight and
arduous that they few have been visited since. Maurice describes the discovery of Llethrid Swallet. Gower's
finest cave. All photographs are by "The Taylors" and were taken with an ancient Kodak Brownie camera
that had suffered many vicissitudes. It had fallen into the river at Porth-yr-Ogof and had spent two days in
the snow at Carmel. Only two instances of its adventurous life. For lighting "The Taylors" used lengths of
magnesium ribbon. Hence the need for the "models" to "freeze" in one position for a minute or more. Long
out of print. Only available as a DVD for a handling charge of 3.00 post included in the UK.
- THE CAVES OF GOWER - Part 2 in the Series "Limestones and Caves of South Wales" by Tony Oldham.
97 pp, 41 surveys, 6 photos, index, biblio, introduction in Welsh, history of exploration and descriptions of
over 130 caves. This is the 2nd edition 1982 SB SOLD OUT.
Or check out this website: explore-gower.
- THE CAVES OF CARMARTHEN - Part 3 in the Series "Limestone and caves of South Wales” by Tony
Oldham. vi + 65 pp, 39 surveys, location maps etc. In the long out of print 1967 edition of 'Caves in Wales
and the Marches' only 13 caves were described and 10 sites listed by National Grid Reference only. This
book describes in much greater detail over 100 sites of speleological interest. An introduction in Welsh,
a caving code, cave rescue hints and Cave Conservation are some of the many topics included. New A4
edition Revised May 2003. SB £10.00
- THE CAVES OF WEST WALES - Part 1 in the Series "Limestones and Caves of South Wales" by Tony
Oldham. viii + 72 pp, illus, surveys, etc. New A4 edition 2002.. For over 120 years these caves have been
visited and described by numerous writers. The author describes over 160 caves together with location
and extensive bibliography for each cave. Covers Pendine, Tenby, Caldey, Pembroke, Cardigan up to
Aberystwyth. Long out of print. Only available as a DVD for a handling charge of £3.00 post included in
- THE CAVES OF CLYDACH GORGE AND THE SURROUNDING AREA - Part 4 In the
Series "Limestones and Caves of South Wales" by Tony Oldham. vii + 66 + 21 pp, 38 maps and surveys,
new A4 format. This book attempts for the first time to gather together all that is known about the caves
of the Clydach Gorge and Blaenavon areas. Over 80 caves are described. Complete with index of caves
in order of NGR. First published 1981, the revised March 1998, contains a 21 page supplement with a
detailed description of Ogof Draenen. Reprinted August 2009 with revisions. Now out of print. The text is
available as a down load, poa.
- THE CAVES OF THE SOUTHERN OUTCROP - Part 5 In the Series "Limestones and Caves of South
Wales" by Tony Oldham. vi + 90 pp, 24 maps and surveys, 5 line drawings by Ruth Jacobs. Describes over
60 caves in the Bridgend to Cardiff area. Essential reading for both the sporting and the speleo-historian.
2nd revised edition January 1992. SB £10.00
- CAVES OF THE CENTRAL NORTHERN OUTCROP - Part 6 in the Series "Limestone and caves of South
Wales" by Tony Oldham. January 2000. viii + 66 pp, 32 surveys / location maps, 2 photos. Contains such
classics as Chartists' Cave, Crescent Cave, Carno Adit Cave, Ogof Rhyd Sych and Ogof y Ci etc. Covers in
great detail the area between Cefn y Coed Cymmer, Merthyr Tydfil, Trefil, Beaufort and Llangynidr. Read
about the hitherto secret discoveries by the Severn Valley Caving Club. Only available as a DVD £3.00
post free in the UK.
- CAVES OF THE MELLTE VALLEY by Allan Ockenden 1991 48 pp 6 figs, surveys. A detailed account of
the caves near Ystradfellte, including the famous Porth-yr-Ogof. Part 7 in the Series Limestones and Caves
of South Wales. SB £5.00
- THE CAVES OF THE SOUTH EASTERN OUTCROP by Tony Oldham and Keith Jones Part 8 in the
Series "Limestones and Caves of South Wales" January, 2003 revised August 2005 xii +39 pp 1 p colour
photos, 17 surveys / maps / illus etc. Includes such classics as Otter Hole. SB £10.00 Last copy!
- THE CAVES OF THE FOREST OF DEAN by Tony Oldham, Keith Jones and Paul Taylor [published as]
Part 11 in the Series "Limestones and Caves of South Wales" July 1, 2006 xii + 57 pp 23 maps / surveys,
13 colour photos, including front cover. Includes such classics as Redhouse Swallet and Slaughter Stream
Caves etc and the latest discoveries, Big Sink Cave, Miss Grace's Lane Cave etc. Supposed to be available
from Paul Taylor. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or I can supply the whole book including surveys
and extra photos on a DVD for a handling charge of £3.00 including postage in the UK.
- THE MINES OF THE FOREST OF DEAN and surrounding areas by Tony Oldham  65 pp surveys
illus etc. Includes Coal, Iron and even a Gold Mine! A gazetteer which lists all the mines together with brief
descriptions, NGR etc. Companion edition to the above book. A smaller font makes this the largest edition
yet. SB out of print. Text can be sent as an attachment. poa. `Mole´ has taken over production. Please
contact him for availability. PM me for his details. I can supply the whole book including surveys and extra
photos on a DVD for a handling charge of £3.00 including postage in the UK.
- THE CAVES AND MINES OF THE SYCHRHYD GORGE by Keith Jones April 1992 Part 9 in the
series Limestones and Caves of South Wales. 32 pp 15 surveys and maps, colour frontis, 2 colour 3 B&W
photographs / illustrations. This account presents detailed information on all the known caves and mines
of the Sychrhyd Gorge. This enchantingly beautiful area is found at the head of the Vale of Neath, 3
kilometres north east of Glyn Neath near the village of Pont Nedd Fechan. The limestone gorge is 500
metres long and is located on the downstream end of the River Sychryd just before its confluence with the
River Mellte, and is guarded by one magnificent portal- the famous Dinas Rock. Reprinted and revised
August 2009. SB £10.00
- THE CAVES OF THE LITTLE NEATH VALLEY by Tony Oldham 2002 viii + 34 pp 20 surveys (3 are
A3). Part 10 in the series Limestones and Caves of South Wales. This book covers the area from Pant
Mawr Pot to its resurgence near Pwll Du. Incredibly detailed, complete with an index of caves by NGR.
Revised and reprinted August 2009. SB £10.00 x3
- THE SILICA MINES OF THE LITTLE NEATH VALLEY by Tony Oldham 1993 reprinted 2006 12 pp,
17 colour photos, location map. In the original edition the photos were printed in black and white. Now
with 21st century technology they have been reproduced in colour. The mines belonged to the Abernant and
Dinas Silica-brick and Cement company. They were abandoned in 1909. Chapters include: History, Geology
and A Tour of the mines. SB Long out of print, available on a DVD for a handling fee of £3.00 post free in
- THE CAVES OF THE WEST BANK OF THE AFON TAWE by Keith Jones Part 12 in the series:
Limestones and Caves of South Wales. ND about 1995 41 pp, 13 maps and surveys. Includes Dan yr Ogof
and a lot of smaller caves which I had forgotten about. SB Long out of print, available on a DVD for a
handling fee of £3.00 post free in the UK
- CAVES OF THE PEAK DISTRICT by Dave Gill et al 1991 257 pp numerous
surveys and location maps. First published as Caves of Derbyshire, this
edition attempts to cover all caves and mines of the area i e The Alderley Edge
Copper Mines and numerous other mines, visited by cavers. Now 7 years on, much
enlarged. SB £14.95
Yorkshire and Lancashire
- NORTHERN CAVES - For the latest information on this series of guide
books see the Northern Caves web site.
The original three volumes (see below) are long out of print and now fetching
high values on popular internet auction sites.
- NORTHERN CAVES Volume 1 / Wharfedale & the North-East by D Brook
et al 1988 282 pp Hundreds of caves listed, located and described. SB
- NORTHERN CAVES Volume 2 / The Three Peaks by A Brook et al 1991 286
pp Numerous location maps and surveys. After ten years, the new revised guide
to the potholes of Penyghent, Malham and Ingleborough. SB £14.95
- NORTHERN CAVES Volume 3 / The Three Counties System and North West.
by D Brook et al 1994 287 pp 32 maps and surveys. The final volune in the
series, started some seventeen years back! All cavers will celebrate. SB
- VIEWS OF THE CAVES NEAR INGLETON, GORDALE SCAR AND MALHAM CAVE, IN
YORKSHIRE, drawn and engraved by William Westall 1818. A facsimile
reproduction with a new introduction by Dr.Trevor R.Shaw. 8pp text, 12pp
introduction 12 full page plates - a few of which are rather dark in
reproduction and lack some detail. A historical document of some interest, not
only to cavers. SB £4.00 [out of print]
- SRT RIGGING GUIDE, A Practical Guide to Rigging Caves of the
Northern Pennines with Single Rope Techniques, by Dave Elliot and Dick Lawson,
published by Lizard, distributed by Cordee Books of Leicester, ISBN 0904405249.
A selection of vertical caves described with SRT rigging diagrams. Some routes
now out of date as the NCA bolting programme continues its work.
- See the Irish Caves website.
- THE MINES OF IRELAND by Tony Oldham [April 2003] i + 45 pp, surveys. Until the publication of the
first edition of this book some years ago, very little was known about the mines of Ireland. By researching
scientific [and the not so scientific] journals I have accumulated a wealth of information on the mines both
north and south of the border from Bronze age to present day. For each mine a short description is given,
followed by a list of references, and if known the NGR. A recent visit describes the present day remains. I
have also attempted to provide eejit proof directions for finding the mines. Useful reference work. Out of
print. Only available as a CD for £3.00 post free in the UK.
- THE CAVES OF CO. CORK by Tony Oldham. xvi and 66 pp. March 2003 A4 reprint [this is the same as
the January 2001 reprint which only has 5 extra pages of new finds.]. 21 maps, surveys, front cover illus of
Ovens Caves and 4 photos in text. Includes an Irish Introduction and translation of Place Names by Cian
O Se. Pub. July 1981 Essential reading for any caver going to the Emerald Isle. SB out of print. Only
available as a CD for £3.00 post free in the UK.
- CAVES OF COUNTY CLARE compiled by C A Self and pub. by the
University of Bristol Speleogical Society 1981. 224 pp. 55 figs, maps, surveys
etc. 9 b\w photos, 1 colour frontispiece, 5 sketches, cave index. Describes
a total of 251 caves with 77 km or 50 miles of passage. Area maps show the
locations of cave entrances and surveys are included of major caves.
- CAVES OF COUNTY CLARE AND SOUTH GALWAY compiled and edited by Graham
Mullan 2003 259 pp, 92 figs, includes colour photos and surveys. This
is the third and latest in a series of caving guide to this area.
Published by the University of Bristol Spelaeological Society.
- THE REMAINING CAVES OF SCOTLAND excluding: Appin, Applecross, Assynt, Caithness, Hebrides,
Kintyre, Mid-Argyle, Orkneys, St Kilda, Schichallion, Shetland, Skye, Southern Highlands and South
Western Scotland, and Sutherland compiled by Tony Oldham 2006 63 pp surveys etc. This book has been
published to bring the original New Caves of Scotland up-to date and to record the caves which are not
described in any of the other books mentioned below. To make this book more compact, and, hopefully,
more readable, the references have been omitted. These are available as a supplementary volume called,
"Caves of Scotland: A Bibliography" (please see below). The text of Remaining Caves of Scotland is
available as a download, poa.
- CAVES OF SCOTLAND DVD. To save the trees, shelf space and because it is quicker than photocopying,
I have put "The New Caves of Scotland" "Mines of Scotland: A Bibliography", and "Caves of Scotland a
Bibliography" onto a DVD. Not wishing to waste disk space I added Alan Jeffreys's Index to the Grampian
Speleological Group Bulletin from 1963 to 2001 and my holiday snaps, or to be more precise, photos of
some quite small Scottish caves. For good measure there are photos of a visit to the Pibble lead mine
[Creetown] and Harelow stone mine [near Greta Green]. The DVD £3.00 post free in the UK.
- THE CAVES OF SOUTH WESTERN SCOTLAND by Tony Oldham 2005 28 pp, 10 colour photos,
including front cover. This is a detailed gazetteer covering the area Dumfries-shire, Galloway,
Kircudbrightshire and Wigtownshire. This area is famous for its inhabited caves which date from Bronze
Age times. St Medan's and St Ninian's Caves were inhabited in the 8th century, whilst the most notorious
inhabitant in the 16th century was Sawney Beane and his family who is reputed to have robbed and eaten
over a 1000 travellers. The only caving guide to this little known caving area. Now out of print. The text is
available as a download, poa.
- CAVES OF SCOTLAND A BIBLIOGRAPHY by Tony Oldham January 2004, revised May 2009 174
pp. A companion volume to 'The New Caves of Scotland' as it includes caves which got left out. Fingal's
Cave takes up 3 pages. References include such exotica as the Mombassa Times, Kenya and 'Is Fingal's
Cave artificial?'. Needless to say, it is not, only available as a DVD or free download. £3.00 post free in
- MINES OF SOUTH WESTERN SCOTLAND by Tony Oldham July 2005 41 pp, illus, surveys. Needless
to say, it is not, only available as a DVD or free download. £3.00 post free in the UK.
- MINES OF SCOTLAND: A BIBLIOGRAPHY by Tony Oldham revised January 2009 130 pp. It could
be argued that if you want to research the mines of Scotland, all you would need are Landless 1993, Wilson
1921 and access to Google. The bibliography goes a little further. It lists some national grid references
and some mines discovered after 1993. The mines are listed first by minerals and then by counties. Only
available as a CD or free download. £3.00 post free in the UK.
See older version: Scottish Mines Bibliography.
- THE CAVES OF NORTHERN BRITAIN (Caithness, Orkneys, Outer Hebrides, Shetland and Sutherland)
by Tony Oldham 2006 57 pp, 13 illus (maps and surveys etc), laminated colour cover. The first Caves of
Scotland was published in 1975 and since then many more caves have come to light [no pub intended]. To
cover each area in detail it has been necessary to publish a series of regional guides. This is the latest in the
series and incorporates the most recent literature and discoveries.. Out of print. The text is available as a
down load, poa.
- THE CAVES OF KINTYRE and Mid Argyll together with a supplement to the mines of the area by Tony
Oldham second revised and much enlarged edition August 2004 56 pp 40 colour photos, including front
and rear covers. This is a detailed gazetteer covering the area from the Mull of Kintyre to just north of Oban
in Scotland. Laminated covers. Out of print. The text is available as a down load, poa.
- THE NEW CAVES OF SCOTLAND by Tony Oldham 2004 viii + 72 pp,
illus, surveys, etc. This book is now out of print as it has been superceded
by THE REMAINING CAVES OF SCOTLAND, see below.
It was published to bring the original
Caves of Scotland up-to date and to record the caves which are not
described in any of the other books mentioned below. To avoid
duplication, the caves of Appin, Assynt, Schichallion, Skye, and the
Southern Highlands have been omitted. To make this book more compact,
and, hopefully, more readable, the references have been omitted. T
- The Caves of Schichallion by Peter Dowswell 1980. 55 pp, surveys,
- Appin Cave Guide by Ivan Young 1978. 30 pp, surveys, locations maps.
- Scottish Cave Guides / The Southern Highlands 1988 by Jim Salvona
and Ivan Young. 34 pp, surveys, etc. This was reprinted and revised in June
1990 and a supplement published 2003.
- CAVES OF ASSYNT edited by T J Lawson / The limestone Caves of
Scotland Part 2. 90 pp numerous surveys, photos etc. Dare I call it a
companion volume to the above? SB £5.95
- CAVES OF SKYE Part 5 In The Series The Limestone Caves of Scotland
or Grampian Speleological Group Occasional Publication No 7 by Peter F Ryder
1995 73 pp 17 photos 32 maps / surveys. Very detailed and concise guide
book. An essential reference work. SB £7.50 or £8.00 post free
- THE CAVES OF MALTA by Tony Oldham 29 pp illus. Reprinted and enlarged from BC 125 A4
size. Five show caves, catacombs, a WW2 shelter and even some wild caves. Only available as a CD
[complete] £3.00 post free in the UK or free download [no pictures].
- PHILIPPINE CAVE INDEX AND BIBLIOGRPHY by James Smart 1994 27 pp 2 maps. A handy
reference work listing all known caves and references. The later is even more valuable as we did have an
almost complete set at Rhychydwr available for research [1994! Long since sold!] Only available as a CD
[complete] £3.00 post free in the UK or free download [no pictures].
All of the above should be available from:
Books marked as out of print may be available if you search hard enough,
and some may be re-printed in the future, but all should be available from
your local club library. Members of the BCRA also have access to the
Back to Caves and Caving in the UK