Once inside the cave, situated in a dry valley on the eastern bank of Thorns Gill, there is this stunning view out.
The fallen boulder pile inside was, just a few years ago, very dangerous. Thankfully, those two on the right are now supporting the monster in the middle and it is possible to squeeze past in the gap, taking care not to pull on the big boulder as you do so. Note the ghostly 'face' on the surface of the rock itself ....
Looking back between the boulders having just squeezed through the gap. I don't like to hang around in this area too long!
The way forward is through a boulder-strewn dry passage towards a chamber, where we first meet the water. The reverend wrote, 'We had not got out of sight of day before we were obliged to wade up to the mid-leg a few yards.'
The chamber, accessible to walkers without gear and just a torch, has been abused over the years with unsightly graffiti - much of it made by using the plentiful red ochre deposits which daub the cave walls.
Here the stream flows away under this bedding to the right, later emerging further down the gill. In flood, it can be highly dangerous.
'We were in Danger,' wrote Hutton, 'of daubing our clothes with the red slime.' This still holds true today, but my word it's worth it! This is a wonderful piece of streamway and its colour is unique in the area.
'The rocks jutted out and were pendent in every grotesque and fantastic shape.' We can see what you meant, Mr Hutton.
Dissolved organic carbon from plant debris and the watershed soils often produces foam in caves, like this. Air in the water can also have a similar effect. This is not pollution - but a natural phenomenon.
Despite years of visiting tourists and easy access, some of the features are relatively undisturbed. Perhaps, these days, less people know of the delights of Thorns Gill.
The cave becomes a high canyon where a joint has been eroded away beneath a smooth , flat ceiling.
Relatively new forming stalactites are replacing, at this height, those which were no doubt destroyed by earlier tourists. Even William Dobson (1865) in his 'Rambles by the Ribble' commented on this destruction.
A mixture of colours here: pale yellow on the cascade and deepening orange walls, darkening to a red background. Perfect natural art.
Approaching the 'Katnot Squirrel' - from this direction (it's that column on the left) it is shyly hidden from predators ...
Only when you pass it and glance back does it reveal itself. I love its mop of grey hair, raised paw and yellow and orange tail. Didn't have any nuts, unfortunately ....
Hutton wrote, 'The various coloured reflections made by the spars and petrifications that abounded in every part entertained the eye with the greatest novelty and variety.' Perhaps he was well acquainted with our little furry friend.
Don't be freaked out - but this I call 'The Entrails.' More like the House of Horrors from Madame Tussauds.
This ochre-covered stalactite constantly drips water onto a ledge below, and over many years it has formed a small pool in the process.
A delicate flowstone feature. I can see a flamingo here bending over to fish, with it head between its legs. Only problem is, it has three legs. Perhaps cave flamingoes do ..
'In some places there were alleys out of the main street,' wrote Hutton. This is one of them, an abandoned oxbow - good for testing your crawling skills.