Out & About …

… on the North York Moors, or wherever I happen to be.

Where is the Elephant Hole?

Fingerpost below Aireyholme Farm.

The National park have recently been at worked erectly a new kissing gate, steps and fingerpost below Aireyholme Farm.

One ‘finger’ confuses me, it points to the ‘Elephant Hole’.

Where exactly is the ‘Elephant Hole’?

Some opinion seems to be that it is the large bowl at the top of Cliff Rigg.

But if this is the case why have a separate finger? Just one would suffice.

There are two other locations which I have heard from local sources described as the ‘Elephant Hole’.

One is below the cliff of poor quality whinstone at the far end of the visible limit of the quarry. To the left of the larch trees in the distance.

This was a large hole which opened up into a mine tunnel. However in the 1980s, the cliff above collapsed and substantially filled the hole, blocking access to the mine below1Aditnow.co.uk. (2016). The grave of the Elephant Hole. [online] Available at: https://www.aditnow.co.uk/Photo/The-Grave-Of-The-Elephant-Hole_53948/ [Accessed 11 Jan. 2022]..

Access now would be difficult, overgrown, and across broken ground. I’m not sure there would be much to see if you get there. I don’t think I’ve been anywhere near it since the collapse.

The other contender is also a giant hole but hidden in the woodland on the south side of the ridge. It’s actually just ten or so metres off the Public Footpath as indicated by the fingerpost.

This really is a dangerous place, such that two fences separate it from the Public Footpath2adayinthelifeofaranger (2012). January 2012 – A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A RANGER. [online] A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A RANGER. Available at: https://dayinthelifeofaranger.wordpress.com/2012/01/ [Accessed 11 Jan. 2022].. Again I think it opens up into a mine tunnel.

So where is the Elephant Hole?






3 responses to “Where is the Elephant Hole?”

  1. Gari avatar

    Elephant Hole was 100 yards or so west of the bowl at the top of the Quarry. The dolomite buttress that was above it collapsed into it some time ago. The buttress was to protect the original open cast working of the Quarry. The hole led into the various mine working levels
    The hole to the south of the Quarry is called Devils Hole, quite appropriately, and is I believe an air shift. Very dangerous!

    1. Fhithich avatar

      Thanks, Gari. A report by the Moldywarps Speleological Group has been passed to me. They descended the Elephant Hole in 1974. The grid reference given ties in with your description.

  2. Peter Boydell avatar
    Peter Boydell

    Why publicly signpost an unsafe place without putting in necessary safeguards. The sighnpost also directs you to somewhere not msrked either on a map or locally. Weirdcand irresponsible

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