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Report - The Fairy Hole - Saddleworth - May 2013

Discussion in 'Underground Sites' started by The Lone Ranger, May 22, 2013.

  1. The Lone Ranger

    The Lone Ranger Safety is paramount!
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    Feb 25, 2010
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    The Fairy Hole – Saddleworth



    The Fairy Hole is located high on the bleak moors of Saddleworth. It’s not actually a cave, but a natural rift in the gritstone, it’s about 46 meters long and 11 meters deep, not the longest one in the area, but I think the best. Diggle Wigglepit is the longest and there is a system called Twin Shafts, which I have not located as yet.

    The area is full of folk law, many locals have heard of the Fairy Hole, few have seen the entrance and less still have set foot in the passageways.

    In legend the rolling boulder-strewn hills of Alphin Pike and Alderman Hill were the abodes of the giants Alphin and Alderman, after whom the peaks were named. Alphin and Alderman were at first on friendly terms, until they both became enamoured with a beautiful water nymph called Rimmon, who lived in the valley below them in the bubbling waters of Chew Brook.

    Alphin won the battle for the affections of Rimmon, which secured the angry jealousy of Alderman. Eventually the quarrelling gave way to aggressive action and they threw giant boulders at each other in a mortal contest across the valley. One of these rocks struck Alphin a mortal blow, and he died on the slopes of his hill. Rimmon was devastated at her lover's death and threw herself from the crags that overlook the Chew Valley.

    She is said to be buried somewhere on the slopes of Alphin Pike in the giants grave. The many large boulders strewn over the valley and across the mountains were said to be the missiles thrown by the giants during their battle for the water nymphs affections.

    The boulder strewn slopes nr Alpin Pike


    I tend to think that she’s actually buried on this hill as after all Alderman did win the battle.

    The Fairy Hole lies behind the mighty Alderman.


    My Visits

    As with all best explores this started with a Sunday stroll, I often pass the entrance and realised it had been a few year, well nearly 2 decades since I last ventured into the enchanted passages of the Fairy Hole. I popped my head in briefly as for once there wasn’t a huge build up of sheep maltesers, it was bigger than I remembered, I forgot about the short slippery ramp which drops you half way in, it was entertaining trying to get back out and tell the kids we’d return with a rope soon.

    Looking for an excuse not to head down a long small culvert today I decided to return here, I don’t think I have ever seen an internal photo from here and the chance of seeing a fairy sealed it for me.

    The initial 20ft horizontal section is a bit tight; you either crawl in backwards and don’t know where you’re going or do a very constricted turn around at the end of the tunnel and disappear down the small hole at the rear.


    The slippery slide (very Magic Faraway Tree takes you down to a small ledge, you then go back on yourself and climb down to the base of the rift. The passage way is up to 5 meters high, and varies between 500mm to about 2 meters wide.


    There are some short climbs and descents along the passageway, but nothing too hard.





    Finally some evidence of the fairies, their favourite food apart from nectar, a Potnoodle.


    Retracing my steps I noticed a faint glow appear ahead, was sure I could even hear giggling!


    Fairies, no chance as it’s all just folk law and legend, they’ll be saying it’s haunted next or UFO’s have been seen in the area.



    I’ll let you all make your own mind up, but just bear in mind that Everytime an explorer says 'I don't believe in fairies,' there's a little fairy somewhere that falls down dead.

    Well that’s it, off in search of Twin Shafts next and will breath in and try and get down and out of Diggle Wigglepit with a camera.



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    #1 The Lone Ranger, May 22, 2013
    Last edited: May 22, 2013

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  2. twillz

    twillz 28DL Member
    28DL Member

    Aug 12, 2016
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    Hi there

    on finding this gem earlier in the year, it instantly got me hooked on potholes. I am local to saddleworth and was wondering if anyone could help me with locating the diggle wiggle pit or the twin shafts... me and a friend went up to running hill pits a couple of weeks ago, we checked every quarry, alas, in vein..

    If anyone has any tips on how to find the diggle wiggle or twin shafts. (i have no idea where to find the latter) i would be sincerely gratefull!

    GT-0161 likes this.
  3. tomba

    tomba 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Sep 3, 2008
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  4. concreteJungle

    concreteJungle 28DL Regular User
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    Oct 24, 2008
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    Twin shafts is really close to Fairy Hole, there's a grid ref online if you look enough although it doesn't look to be more than small rift.
    GT-0161 likes this.
  5. Shrek and Donkey

    Shrek and Donkey 28DL Member
    28DL Member

    Oct 5, 2016
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  6. GT-0161

    GT-0161 28DL Member
    28DL Member

    Oct 3, 2017
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    Thank you for sharing this. I found twin shafts first had a little cup of coffee and decided as i was alone it would be to dangerous to venture in.
    Rather loose rock also put me off i left the wind and rain to return another day.

    Unfortunalty it was snowing i found the fairy holes this time i wasnt alone so i ventured in and arrived at the end just before you do an awkward turn and drop down into the fissure but as i had no ropes and the fact my pal was a little on the large side it was yet again a no go. I was upset lets say that.

    As for diggle wiggle pit i also found this (accidently)but the day was sunny i was actually out geocaching and stumbold across the wiggle pit it looked rather easy to enter but the freshly dead sheep at the bottom of the entrance put me off clambering over it wasnt my idea of fun Shame really as i would really like to get into underground urbex just need to find a couple of like minded people to join if anybody out there is reading this and local to tameside let me know "if you want" thanks for posting this post it is what made me start researching underground sites all be it i have been active on hear for at least a couple of years just never registered which is my own downfall. Sorry for rambling on
    The Lone Ranger likes this.
  7. Snake Oil

    Snake Oil go in drains
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    Dec 8, 2011
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    underground fairies deefinitely exist...

    Nickindroy likes this.
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