Preliminary Report on Initial Studies Carried Out on the Structure and Surrounding Geology of Wensleydale Cheese Caverns

Survey carried out by Dr. D. F. Brumby, June 1972 as part of an extensive investigation into the geology of the British Isles, commissioned by the Mineral Sciences department of Brunel University


Well, both myself and my assistant, Dr Marian Startop, had a lovely day out at the Cheese Caverns.  It was a bright sunny day, and since Dr Startop had thoughtfully decided to bring some sandwiches we sat and had a bit of a picnic.  Afterwards I went back to the car to unpack my theodolite and tape measure, whilst Dr Startop went in search of somewhere selling ice creams.  By the time she returned with a couple of 99s I had already determined the existence of a sizeable subterranean shelf of Gruyere.  We settled down to consume our ice creams and enjoy the view, which was only slightly marred by the discovery of a half empty packet of condoms. 

Upon resuming our work, we were delighted to discover evidence of deep deposits of Stilton.  However, our spirits were soon dampened when we were attacked by a flock of pigeons, and I fear that it was only down to Dr Startop's admirable proficiency with a sharpened stick that we were able to escape relatively unscathed.  Following this unsettling incident we proposed to continue our survey elsewhere, and so we struck out to the west, where we soon discovered a large area of surface Cheddar.  Venturing further it became apparent that we had reached a ridge of solid granite, and since it was unlikely that we would make additional cheese discoveries, we decided to turn back.  However, panic struck when I realised that I had somehow mislaid my car keys.  Happily we chanced upon a man called Geoff who proved to be of great assistance in helping us make a thorough search of the area, and we soon located the missing keys lying in a clump of bracken.  All in all, we had rather a jolly time, and both Dr Startop and myself have expressed an interest in making a return visit.

Fig. 1Cross Section of Cheese Environs

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