University of Bristol Spelæological Society

Welcome to the UBSS

image: Balloon accreditation image: University of Bristol Union image: University of Bristol

The UBSS has been delving the depths of the subterranean world for over 100 years, and has a membership to reflect this - from the new students that join every year, right up to those that were around many decades ago. Consequently the range of activities that go on, caving and otherwise, is vast. From the regular adventures into the underground playgrounds of the UK and abroad, to cave exploration and surveying at home, in many parts of Ireland, as well as more far flung places like Romania or Thailand, to impending fame and fortune in the form of the good old UBSS digs, photography, drunken table/pub/person traversing, archaeology, cave science, huge bonfire parties at the UBSS hut, and mammoth beer drinking sessions: UBSS members do them all.

Members living in Bristol usually meet weekly at the Eldon, 6 Lower Clifton Hill on Tuesday evenings from 8.30pm. Obviously, these meetings have not always taken place during the current Zombie Apocalypse. This is the place to come if you want to find out more about caving or the UBSS, or you want to come on any trips. Many informal trips are only organised in the pub, so if you want to cave you need to come along. Large, club organised, events, which usually happen every fortnight during term time, will be listed on the events diary page, and emails about them will be sent out nearer the time. If you are new to caving have a look at the fresher's guide.


UBSS Cave Literature Database

Our searchable database covers all articles published in our journal, Proceedings, and the bibliographies for both Southern Ireland and the Caves of County Clare.

Irish Caves Database

Since 2006, we have hosted the Irish Caves Database created by Trinity College Dublin. This resource is in the process of being updated. For the latest available information see this page.


TerrainTool is used to create surface topographic data for the cave survey packages Survex and Therion.

Cave Archaeology and Palaeontology Gazetteers

We also host Andrew Chamberlain's Gazetteer of British caves containing human remains and Phil Murphy's Gazetteer of vertebrate remains from Yorkshire caves.


UBSS Centenary Symposium, November 9th/10th 2019
The details for this event are coming together well. To keep up to date with the latest developments, visit
Caves of Mid-West Ireland
The Society's fourth book on Irish caves is now complete. It will be launched at SUICRO, in Ireland, in October and during our Centenary Symposium in Bristol in Novembrr. The price will be £20 per copy, but with special rates for members and at the launch events.
Alumni Foundation Grant
We have received a grant from the Alumni Foundation to buy and install a pair of secure outdoor cages in the car park beneath the Student’s Union building. They are being used to return kit when the Richmond building is closed and for the washing and drying of kit before its return to our indoor tackle store. This has enabled both personal and club equipment to be cared for better and will facilitate its more rapid return after trips. Thank you to the Alumni Foundation for this money.
More surveys
The survey archive page has been updated to include our latest work. Thanks, once again, to the University of Bristol Alumni Association for helping to fund this work.

Visit the news archive.

Upcoming Events

It appears we've been too busy drinking to update the events calendar. Ooops.

View all events

All material on this site is © The University of Bristol Spelaeological Society. Webmasters should feel free to link to any part of this site; however before any re-use of material from this site in any other published form, electronic or printed, permission must be granted by the Society. We aim to allow reasonable re-use, however, we do not have sole rights ourselves for everything here. For all enquiries please contact the editor
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