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Eighe (Pol) [eyehole]  Pol Eighe C  Eighe (Pol) [Upper]  Pol Eighe B  Pol Eighe E  Pol Eighe A  Pol Eighe D  Eighe, Pol  Earthquake Sink  Mayday Hole  Disappointment Cave  Scott Robinson's Hole  *Dig Site  Manhole (The)  Traligill Rising  Lost Hole  Tree Hole  Dry Weather Sink  Birthday Hole  Torran Garbha  Lower Traligill Flood Sink  Inclined Rift Cave  Lower Traligill Cave  Traligill Basin [Overview]  Small Cliff Cave  Gleann Dubh Un-named Cave  * Rising (Traligill)  Un-named Dig 

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Eighe (Pol)

Assynt, Traligill, Glenbain, Sutherland.

NGR:NC 27029 21289
WGS84:58.14655, -4.94048
Length:35 m
Vert. Range:5 m
Altitude:210 m
Geology:Ghrudaidh Formation - Dolostone
Tags:Cave, Sink

From the tourist car park near Inchnadamph Hotel, follow the footpath via Glenbain Cottage past a corrugated iron barn up dry stream bed to northern edge of L-shaped plantation. The cave entrance is approximately 25 m west of the western corner of fence [possibly].

A stream resurges from a low crawl near the entrance which closes down after 4 m. The water crosses 3 m of open shakehole (probably a collapse into the passage) then sinks in a triangular rocky passage floored with flake breakdown (which may need to be removed to gain access).

The upstream part of the cave, in a tight bedding plane, can be entered for about 6 m. A small chamber, 2 m in, allows turning. Water enters at right angles to the bedding plane and forms an inclined rift which is too small to enter. Above and to the left, a small crawl reaches another small chamber (continuing the inclined rift) going for 2 m before becoming too tight.

Downstream, entered by dropping about 1 m through the triangular passage, slopes gently down into a wider section or small chamber where it is possible to turn around. The way on is through a small bedding plane, along a square cross-section passage about 1 m wide, 0.3 m high, on the left-hand side descending at about 10 degrees to a small chamber after 3 m. Beyond this is a narrow 0.3 - 0.4 m wide rift, best traversed sideways, which continues 7 m to a sharp left turn.

The stream passage is too tight to follow and the way on is through a small eyehole to the left. This passes through an awkward Z-bend and 1 m in drops into a small pool which the stream enters from the right. A couple of eyehole cascades drop about 2 m into an low oval shaped chamber with a larger pool fed from a small inlet to the left where one can once more turn around. The water flows away into a very tight wet triangular crawl, a bedding plane floored with large blocks which make progress extremely difficult. The way on appears almost sumped and too narrow but (in 1974) no serious attempt was made to push further.

At the right-hand side, rubble and gravel give way to a narrow rift running 4 m at right angles to the chamber. Halfway along is a 1.5 m drop; a tight squeeze, not to be attempted by larger cavers! The foot of this opens into a tiny triangular crawl. The rift becomes larger and 2 m on reaches another chamber with water coming in from high on the left. The stream drops 2 m into a tight rift which may be followed 3 m before becoming too tight.

The way on at the foot of the lowest crawl appears almost sumped and too narrow, but no serious attempt has yet been made to push the cave further. In wet weather the cave stream appears to resurge down valley, at a point near the footpath. A short trip but very serious. Pol Eighe is not to be attempted lightly.

A blocked shakehole sink discovered 23 February 1974 by John Tillson, Pete Dowswell, Dick Grindley et al. returning from trip to Cnoc nan Uamh. Preliminary clearance by Dick Grindley. The group returned Saturday 6 July 1974.

After small amount of digging by Phil Barton and Pete Dowswell, the entrance was entrance opened up and 80 ft (24.5 m) of passage explored. John Tillson extended the passage Sunday 7 July 1974. On a further visit 3 Aug. 1974, John Tilllson, John Travail and Bob Shuttleworth failed due to wet conditions but mentioned two sink holes about 100 m to the north-west, the larger opened up allowing a small stream to sink under a large boulder. A passage was dug out to reach a small pool sump which was relieved to allow the stream to drain down a narrow fissure.

4 Aug 1974. Alan Jeffreys, Pete Dowswell and Phil Barton attempted to extend the passage but abandoned the dig in the final chamber.

On a digging trip on Saturday 24 May 1975, Alan Jeffreys, Pete Dowswell and J. Campbell, found a small drop into the 1st chamber had collapsed over the winter, raising the floor of the canal. Too tight so unable to proceed beyond the mid point of the canal. They also investigated upper section of passage and sink below Pol Eighe next to footpath.

Pol Eighe was Independently rediscovered by Malcolm McConville, 6 Oct. 2007 who found hand to wellie connection through an eyehole to the surface.

The Gaelic name 'Pol Eighe', can translate into English either as 'File Hole' or 'Ice Hole'.

Pronounced Pol Ay, the Gaelic 'Pol Eighe' translates literally as 'Hole of the File' from 'eighe' meaning file or peat cutter (the instrument not the person). 'File Hole' is the translation favoured by the GSG and is used most often, as it supposedly relates to the roughness of the main passage although Pete Dowswell claims the name was chosen just because it sounded like 'Polly'.

Another translation of Pol Eighe is 'Ice Hole', literally 'Cave of the Ice' which derives from the genitive or possessive of 'eigh' meaning 'ice' although this translation is less likely as the cave was discovered in summer. File Pot appears in only one reference and does not adequately describe the cave.

Pol Eigghe appears to be a misspelling. No information on 'Watertie?' Hole.

Alternate Names: Pol Eighe, File Pot, File Hole, Ice Hole, Pol Eigghe, Watertie (watertight) Hole

Notes: The Traligill Basin part of the Ben More Assynt Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Hydrographic Feeds: Small stream on north side of Glen

Hydrographic Resurgences: Stream feeds into Traligill River

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This entry was last updated: 2020-11-02 01:07:36

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