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Titan – The Biggest Shaft in the UK

Listed under Caves & Caving in North West England, United Kingdom.

  • Photo of Titan – The Biggest Shaft in the UK
  • Photo of Titan – The Biggest Shaft in the UK
  • Photo of Titan – The Biggest Shaft in the UK
  • Photo of Titan – The Biggest Shaft in the UK
Photo of Titan – The Biggest Shaft in the UK
Photo by daveclucas
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Titan is the name given to the longest natural underground shaft (145m) in the UK. Discovered in 2000 by cave explorer Dave ‘Moose’ Nixon after several years of digging in collapsed sections of the Peak/Speedwell Cave System, this shaft has now been connected to the surface by a team of dedicated ‘cave diggers’. I was fortunate to be a member of this team. We spent over four years digging and blasting a 2m diameter shaft from the surface to a depth of 35m. At this point a level was driven along a clay wayboard* towards the Titan shaft which eventually broke out onto a small balcony around 10m below the top of the chamber. This shaft is not just the longest, it must also be the most spectacular. With normal lighting the caver never gets to see the real size and splendour of it but, during the digging and subsequent photographic trips with well-known cave photographer Robbie Shone , the chamber was lit with large floodlights giving a rare visual experience to those of us who were involved. From the balcony a 70m pitch lands on a ledge known as The Event Horizon in this hour-glass shaped shaft. From here a re-belay is passed onto a 57m shaft to the boulder choke at the bottom. For details of the full caving trip see The Peak-Speedwell System *wayboard - a thin layer or band which separates or defines the boundaries of thicker strata.

Written by  Dave Clucas.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

I did most of the caves around Castleton in the 1950s with the Stockport Pothole and Caving Club.

Unfortunately we never knew how much more there was to see and explore. We ignored Giants Hold believing it to be a short blank end. When we did Oxlow we never thought there was so much more. G.S.

This is an most amazing find, I've been coming to Derbyshire for many years and have done the trip dlown Speedwell, when they were talking about exploring the system further and look what they found!. I have looked at the bbc website and found the piece on it, well worth a look! <a href="


stm&news=1&nbwm=1&nbram=1&bbwm=1&bbram=1">BBC Piece</a>

are then any still photos of the cavern?

I'm teaching about adventure landscapes and would like to show photos of the shaft?

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