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Pridhamsleigh Cavern Ashburton, Devon

Pridhamsleigh Cavern is a cave on the outskirts of Ashburton, Devon, England. It is approximately 800 yards in length with a total depth of just over 50 metres including Prid II.

Pridhamsleigh is a good site for novice cavers although it is quite muddy. It has a large variety of passages which lends itself to longer explorations. Due to the nature of the connecting and non connecting overlapping passages in the cave, surveys maps of the cave are hard to interpret. The cave contains ‘The Lake’. this elongated pool is around 100 feet deep and in the early 1970s divers with SCUBA gear discovered a route into second partially air-filled chamber, with no passages leading off it. This chamber is the biggest in Devon and is named Gerry’s Chamber after its discoverer, the late Gerry Pritchard.

An accurate, hand-drawn, plan of the cave is held in the reference section of Plymouth Library. Although not requiring any great skill, the cave is quite complex, there being three distinct routes from ‘Bishop’s Chamber’ to the lake. First-timers should note their route carefully as it is easy to get disorientated.

The cave is the type locality for the cave shrimp endemic to the south-west of England, Niphargus glenniei.