University of Bristol Spelæological Society

Welcome to the UBSS

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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.


New online shop
We have recently upgraded our online sales page from the previous and very outdated technology using Paypal to a new version which takes all credit card payments. The new shop can be found by following the links from our Sales and Irish Cave Guide pages or by going directly to .

It is intended to expand the scope of our Sumup use to allow subscriptions and other payments to be taken using credit cards in the near future. Watch this space.

Caves of southern Ireland
The Society's fifth book on Irish caves is now available. It was published on 1st September and was formally launched at SUICRO, in Ireland, in October 2022. For prices and availability, visit
2021 AGM
The AGM was held via Zoom on Saturday March 13th. Full details can be found at[UNIQID]

Minutes from the AGM can be found on the website in the members area.

Changes and Updates
Recent changes have been made to this website:

The Irish Cave Database page has been changed and some new features added: see

Mike McCombe's TerrainTool has been updated to use newer and better DEM data from NASA: see

And the Newsletter pages have been tidied up. see

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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