Ogof y Daren Cilau



Ogof y Daren Cilau is one of several
cave system A cave or cavern is a natural void in the Earth#Surface, ground, specifically a space large enough for a human to enter. Caves often form by the weathering of rock and often extend deep underground. The word ''cave'' can refer to smaller opening ...
s in the Llangattock
escarpment An escarpment is a steep slope landform, slope or long cliff that forms as a result of faulting or erosion and separates two relatively level areas having different elevations. The terms ''scarp'' and ''scarp face'' are often used interchangea ...
Crickhowell Crickhowell (; cy, Crucywel , non-standard spelling ') is a town and community (Wales), community in southeastern Powys, Wales, near Abergavenny, and is in the historic counties of Wales, historic county of Brecknockshire. Location The to ...
in south
Powys Powys (; ) is a county and preserved county in Wales. It is named after the Kingdom of Powys which was a Welsh successor state, petty kingdom and principality that emerged during the Middle Ages following the end of Roman rule in Britain ...
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the Wales–England border, east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, the Celtic Sea to the south west and the ...
. The cave was discovered in 1957 and is one of the longest cave systems in the country.

The cave

It is one of the longest systems in the country (over 26 km) and the entrance section is long, tight and strenuous, making the trip into the further parts of the cave a serious undertaking. Its awkward entrance crawl is a natural barrier to any casual visitor and precludes the need for a locked gate to protect it from vandals. Highlights of Daren Cilau include the ''Time Machine'', the largest cave passage in Britain; the ''White Company'', a set of pure white
stalactite A stalactite (, ; from the Greek language, Greek 'stalaktos' ('dripping') via ''stalassein'' ('to drip') is a mineral formation that hangs from the ceiling of caves, hot springs, or man-made structures such as bridges and mines. Any material th ...
s; and the ''Bonsai Tree'', a branching
helictite A helictite is a speleothem (cave-formed mineral) found in a Solution cave, limestone cave that changes its axis from the vertical at one or more stages during its growth. Helictites have a curving or angular form that looks as if they were gro ...
. Due to the extent of the passages several kilometres from the entrance which would require trips of up to 20 hours to explore, some permanent underground camps have been established, including the ''Restaurant at the End of the Universe'', which is some thirteen hours from the entrance.


The entrance to the cave was discovered in 1957 by Vic Howells. Further investigation and the removal of debris showed an entrance in which a pool of water accumulated. In the ensuing period, the water was drained away and a passage was revealed ending in a boulder choke. The major breakthrough into the system beyond the entrance series occurred in 1984, before which the cave consisted of little more than the entrance series and several uninspiring passages. In 1986 Martyn Farr connected the Terminal Sump to Elm Hole in the next valley by
cave diving Cave-diving is underwater diving in water-filled caves. It may be done as an extreme sport, a way of exploring flooded caves for scientific investigation, or for the underwater search and recovery, search for and recovery of divers or, as in the ...
. After decades of work and numerous
cave digging Cave digging is the practice of enlarging undiscovered cave openings to allow entry. Cave digging usually follows a search of mountains and valleys in karst topography for new caves. Often it takes place underground in places where a large passa ...
projects, a connection to the nearby cave Ogof Agen Allwedd has yet to be found, even though they are only away at their closest point.


External links

Cave description
{{coord, 51.83064, -3.15479, type:landmark_region:GB_source:enwiki-osgb36(SO20521530), display=title Caves of Powys Brecon Beacons