Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Hell-Fire Cave Survey

The Hell-Fire Caves at West Wycombe are a complicated series of tunnels and chambers, hewn by human hand in the mid 18th century. Sir Francis Dashwood commissioned the creation of the caves to serve as a meeting place for his friends who formed a club known as the Monks of Medmenham or the Knights of St Francis.

To date, very little archaeological evidence from the caves has surfaced. As part of my research on the Hell-Fire Clubs, I would like to undertake a 3D laser scan of the whole complex. This is an enormous task as the caves stretch for over a quarter mile underground, twisting and turning all the way. My previous attempts to hand survey have been moderately successful, but the laser scanning would offer the opportunity to record the site in full 3D, including detailed imaging of the wall surfaces. My intention is to make this 3D plan available online for anyone to access, and I will use the information collected to inform my archaeological PhD studies.

I have received a very low price to conduct the scanning, but it is still far outside my student budget. The scanning itself will cost c.£1500-£1750.

Please help me achieve my goal to scan the caves and share my findings widely - you can do this by donating as much or as little as you like here: http://wefund.com/project/hell-fire-cave-mapping/p59473/

Many Thanks! Ash

UPDATE: Great news - the BGS have offered to step in and support my research by providing the scanning for me! Wow! Really looking forward to working with them and sharing the results in the next couple of months.


Student undertakes landmark 3D scan of Hell-Fire Caves

Press release issued: 28 March 2014