30/01/17 – Rob recently spotted a hole in the north side of Stoney Dale just below the final pull up out of the trees towards the Foolow junction, so we headed out on Monday eve for a quick look. It’s a sizeable open hole halfway up the cutting about 10m up from the road with quite an undercut top and would certainly swallow anyone who wasn’t looking where they were going.  We rigged up and Eddie headed down first, not looking very happy about the hanging death just below ground level. The hole takes the form of a wide rift (~2m across in places), solid rock to the north and south and fill to the west and east. Ed descended to  the rubble filled bottom about 15m below the surface and then explored a short but well decorated rift passage about 2/3 of the way down. T'owd Man has clearly been at work here, with neatly stacked deads wedged about the place. Taking it in turns to have a look, Rob then had a quick poke about at the bottom and managed to get through into a low chamber with a deer skeleton complete with antlers and accompanied by a single welly and shoe (if the deer was wearing wellies, this may explain how it fell down there). Ed rejoined Rob, and after about 15 minutes of digging with various deer bones like a pair of Neanderthals they unearthed a possible way on. No draught and no idea what this place is, as we can’t find any record of it anywhere, but it’s certainly a modified natural rift and must head somewhere. We’ll be back again later in the week. (Ed, Rob, Mike)