Gothic Passage to Iles Inlet and The Courtesan
Gothic Passage starts as an easy walking passage but quickly lowers to a crawl before arriving at a T-junction. Take the left-hand route here to Priory Road (heading right leads to Maytime and Grand Circle via High Traverse) and walking is soon regained before once again becoming a crawl to meet another junction. This time we head right (where BNS is written in carbide), while left soon reaches a dig. A flat-out crawl then leads to Ribbed Fault, which has a large aven overhead and fallen blocks on the floor. Skirting to the right of the blocks and heading left leads to Priory Road, while following the taped path heading right soon reaches a dead end.
Priory Road begins rather uncomfortably with a prolonged crawl in wide but low passage. Some crystal formations are passed along the way, and there are occasional places to stand up beneath avens until progress eventually becomes easier. The passage then regains walking dimensions once more with only the odd section of stooping and an inlet is passed on the left. At a large junction, take a sharp left to continue along Priory Road (straight on reaches a choke, and The Cathedral can be reached by a strenuous climb up a small aven just after the bend).
The next passage heading off on the left is Iles Inlet, the route to The Courtesan. A very deep pit in the floor marked with a ‘Deep Excavations’ sign is soon met. This impressive digging effort drops down to a low crawl with a sand squeeze up to reach open passage on the other side; you will encounter a few more of these as various dug through sections are met along the way, along with a couple of awkward S bends. However, all the effort of getting there is well rewarded when you emerge at the 2005 breakthrough point. Trafalgar Passage continues straight ahead, while a small rift on the left just before the first formations leads to Corkscrew Chamber and The Courtesan.
Trafalgar Passage is lofty and has some impressively fine formations, more in common with Urchin Oxbow and Antler Passage in Daren Cilau than anything you’d usually find in Aggy. Here you should stay within the taped route to protect the floor sediments as well as the formations. The passage lowers to a crawl as it approaches the end and terminates at a sand dig which has a vocal connection to The Bunker at the end of Priory Road.
Back at the start of Trafalgar Passage, take the small side rift just before the first formations to reach Corkscrew Chamber. A short but awkward thrutch up reaches the chamber with The Courtesan formation straight ahead. This is easily the best formation in Agen Allwedd; perhaps even the best under Llangattock, and there are some very splendid urchin formations too. Beyond this a small tube leads to Broadside - where going left ends with a dig heading towards Bad Bat in Daren Cilau, while heading right passes a draughting rift and aven before lowering to a dig heading towards DADES choke in Daren Cilau.
Severn Beach - If you have the time and energy, a visit to Severn Beach is a worthwhile diversion to see the various digs heading towards DADES choke and Dweebland in Daren Cilau. To do this, continue along Priory Road at the junction with Iles Inlet, passing avens to reach a sandy swim to Glevum Hall. Heading upslope over roof collapse reaches another crawl to Severn Beach, and further crawls lead on to digs at Birthday Surprise and The Bunker. There is only 22 metres between Agen Allwedd and Daren Cilau at the closest point.