Virtual Caving under Nottingham
January 6, 2011 11:50 AM   Subscribe

The Nottingham Cave Survey is active program that is recording all of Nottingham's 450+ sandstone caves, using a laser scanner to capture 3D details of the caves. So far, there are over 100 clips on YouTube, most of them flythroughs into the caves. Many clips are short, some clocking under a minute, while others run over 10 minutes, such as the tour of the private Peel Street Caves (Rouse's Sand Mine [PDF]).
posted by filthy light thief (12 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
I kept expecting to be attacked by giant rats or skeletons. Very cool, though.
posted by charred husk at 11:59 AM on January 6, 2011

I'm having Myst flashbacks here.
posted by echo target at 12:06 PM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

charred husk: I kept expecting to be attacked by giant rats or skeletons. Very cool, though.

They're not all deep and mysterious caves. They're looking for anything that fits their definition of "cave", including "a brick cellar with part of one wall showing the natural sandstone." Of course, you could throw some skeletons in for the survey crew.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:22 PM on January 6, 2011

This is really cool.
posted by seventyfour at 12:23 PM on January 6, 2011

I think there's something thrilling about maps of underground passages, whether they're caves, mines, or subway systems. There's an enormous, secret geography under our feet, invisible from above and incomprehensible from inside, that can only be made sense of diagrammatically. It's like a separate universe of negative space that only occasionally intersects with our own. The Nottingham flythroughs are excellent, and for sheer scale I particularly liked this map of the Chilean mine that collapsed last year.

I've never played Minecraft, for the same reason that I've never tried heroin.
posted by theodolite at 12:24 PM on January 6, 2011

Wow thanks for this post... These caves are about 10 minutes walk from me!

If you're ever in Nottingham, and you fancy a nice beer whilst sitting in a sandstone cave, make sure to visit the lovely Hand in Heart pub.
posted by derbs at 12:41 PM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Ah, Tigguo Cobauc! I've lived in Nottingham for years and while I knew we had caves, this is.. seriously magical. Though it does make me worry about walking around Low Pavement in case I fall through.

(As well as the Hand in Heart, this post reminds me that I never do anything in this city and I've always meant to go to Mortimer's Hole! Thanks, Filthy Light Thief!)
posted by citands at 12:59 PM on January 6, 2011

There are some pretty cool sandstone cave sights around the West Midlands. Kinver Edge near Birmingham has cottages built into sandstone caves. Bridgnorth has sandstone caves all around a mound that has the leaning ruins of castle that blown up during the Civil War.
posted by srboisvert at 2:01 PM on January 6, 2011

I really hope Bethesda or some other RPG maker licenses the data for use in their game. No more cookie cutter dungeons!
posted by ymgve at 2:14 PM on January 6, 2011

Yay! The caves!

We have a small cave in the local knitting shop. It's part of the series of caves that were dug into Mansfield Road in Victorian times when the houses were built, probably as a pantry. As the houses were converted to flats and storefronts, the caves stayed, mostly for storage.

It's around three feet wide and twelve feet deep, with a long bench running along the far side, just perfect to sit on. There's a bit that's mostly rubble and brick, which either led to an outside entrance or into next door's cave. In fact, it's probably all part of the same developments as the Golden Fleece caves, which are around 1840.

We're just keeping cardboard boxes there at the moment, since we haven't gotten around to buying airtight containers to hold the yarn in. But we're eventually planning on having a Halloween all-night knit-a-thon in our tiny little cave. And really promote the hell out of the fact that we are, as far as we know, the only yarn shop in the world with our own cave. Especially when we start using it as a dyeing room.

(Also, the cave was surveyed by the team, who stopped by when the shop was getting painted and set up. They didn't bother to do a full-on fancy thing, though, because it really is quite dinky.)
posted by Katemonkey at 2:46 PM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Also, if you're in Nottingham, I highly recommend the caves under the Galleries of Justice (ancient prison cells) and the Nottingham Castle (dungeons and escape tunnels).

During the summer, the Castle does tours down from the top of Castle Rock to the Brewhouse Yard. pointing out all the various dungeons and arrow slits and everything. It's ridiculously awesome.

I don't really recommend The Broadmarsh Caves, simply because they've changed it way too much and now it's really dumbed down and they have ridiculous bad actors and a "faerie cave" that has too much fake smoke and Lord of the Rings soundtrack.

The Brewhouse Yard Museum caves are pretty awesome, because they're done up as proper WWII bunkers. And the Trip to Jerusalem's caves are lovely.

I do have a weakness for the Pit & the Pendulum's caves, though, which aren't much, but are directly under the tram line, so you're sitting there, drinking your ridiculous drinks, and then this giant rumble travels over it and you're like "OMGWTFMONSTER" and then "Oh yeah, tram. Yes."
posted by Katemonkey at 3:02 PM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Fascinating, thanks!
posted by carter at 5:48 PM on January 6, 2011

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