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cache type Chobham Treacle Mines cache size

by Robin Lovelock
(Finds: 12   Score: 34)   (Hidden: 48   Score: 142)

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Coordinates ( WGS-84 datum )
N 51° 22.854'   W 000° 36.868'
This may not be the actual cache coordinate.

Sunningdale ,    Berkshire   
United Kingdom    Near By Caches

Hidden On: 07 Sept 2001
Waypoint (Landmark): N000DA
Open Cache:    Personal use only
Cache type:    Multi-Part
Cache size:    Large

Difficulty:   gps gps (easy)
Terrain:   gps (easy)
Misc: No drinking water! No restrooms (water closets) available Pets are allowed. Parking is available No fees!


We have not implemented maps outside of the U.S.A. ... YET!

Additional maps for this cache available at: logo logo

PLEASE KEEP TO THE WELL TRODDEN PATHS. Chobham Common is an important National Nature Reserve, so please do not give Geocaching a bad name: do not go thrashing through the heather. This is more difficult than most of our geocaches but you should be able to find the large tupperware box, including log book, goodies and camera, without too much trouble - and you will be able to do it without straying from the footpaths. Allow at least an hour, including over a mile of walking, and a little thinking time :-)

YOU WILL NEED A PRINTOUT of these clues, and a pencil, in addition to your GPS. Your mission starts by locating two virtual caches. The first virtual caches is at the lat/lon above of N 51 22.854 W 000 36.868. The second virtual cache is f2g metres from it, away from the road.
The "f2g" has to be converted to a number using what you saw at the first virtual cache. You use what you see at these places to decrypt this:

N 51 W 000 de.bga = N 51 _ _ . _ _ _ W 000 _ _ . _ _ _ ? This lat/lon will take you to a clue ticket hidden in a mossy stump.

The first virtual cache answers these questions:
How Many Troops ? - 1000 = bf2c, so b = _ , f = _ and c = _
How Many Parishioners ? = 4gg, so g = _
Reigned how many years ? = ed, so e = _ and d = _
Distance between the two virtual caches = f2g metres = _ 2 _ metres.

The second virtual cache has the word "Main Ref" on it. What is the Main Ref ? = Ga4, so a = _

If you can't find a clue ticket in the mossy stump, there is an identical ticket hidden nearby at the side of the path, behind a post.

You'll be glad to know that's all the "thinking" work done. The clue ticket from the mossy stump guides you to another hidden clue ticket. That clue ticket guides you to the cache itself. Have fun :-)

Chobham Common is the nearest the locals of Sunninghill get to a bit of wilderness. Its only a few miles across, but is not a bad mixture of forest and areas of heather broken by dusty trails. This patch of common, between Sunningdale and M3 Motorway is skirted by the railway and the Ministry of Defence Research Establishment that the locals have called "The Tank Factory" for years (heard of Chobham Armour ?). It is big enough for a nice walk, and is popular with ramblers, horse riders, model flyers, and dog owners - so watch where you tread ! :-) There is an even bigger area of common, even more popular, on the other side of the Motorway, south. Go south from the monument, left at the first roundabout, staying parallel to the motorway, right at next roundabout (before tank factory), over the motorway, and turn right into the free carpark.

The following material is taken from theSunninghill page of my web site:

The "Chobham Treacle Mines" is a local legend, dating back to the 1930's. It was then that a local person discovered a spot on the Common where there was large quantities of treacle welling to the surface. Within a few days, scores of them were coming to dig deep pits, into which the treacle oozed, and could be scooped up by the bucket-full. I don't know what they did with it when they got home, but I suppose it could have been strained through cloth then boiled to make toffee or something. For years people spoke with awe, and in hushed whispers about the "Chobham Treacle Mines" :-)

Alas, as with many such stories, a rational explanation eventually surfaces. In this case it surfaced when some of the enthusiastic locals dug their pits deeper and struck something - well several somethings - in fact hundreds of giant wooden barrels of mollasis. These had been there for some years, and the wood had started to fall appart and let the contents ooze out. So who put the barrels there in the first place ? The clue is in the picture at the bottom (that's me at the bottom controlling the aircraft !). The monument in the background is on a small hill overlooking the Common. It was erected near the turn of Century to commemorate Queen Victoria reviewing the troops going off to fight the Dutch in South Africa during the Boar War. Tens of thousands of infantry and cavalry were transported in by railway (which runs through the Common) - and the thousands of horses had to be fed. The barrels of mollases were used to 'spice up' the horses feed, but at the end many were surplus to requirements - so they were buried ! - the barrels that is: not the horses :-)

This picture was taken, maybe 20 years ago by one of my model aircraft - that's me in the bottom of the picture operating the radio gear :-)

The Monument

You will find more Lovelock caches you wish to contact Robin and want a reply, please email him direct on If you do this through a geocaching web site, please make sure you include your email address. Robin regrets that he may not reply to those who seek to hide who they are. Please include at least your name and email address.

Note Add a Log Entry

CACHE LOGS - May contain hints(spoilers)!    decode

Note 06 Apr 2009 by  Amberel   (Finds: 61   Score: 201.5)   (Hidden: 2   Score: 11.5)
     Open Log:    Personal use only
I've just seen Sandvika's note about not visiting in the Spring or early Summer :-( Sorry, spotted it too late :-( However, I did keep to the well marked paths throughout, so I don't think I caused any problems.

Rgds, Andy
I found it! 06 Apr 2009 by  Amberel   (Finds: 61   Score: 201.5)   (Hidden: 2   Score: 11.5)
     Open Log:    Non-commercial use only
Not such a long gap as there was before the first find :-)

Today I completed a long and arduous TerraCache in Swinley Forest, and on the way back home I passed close to this cache. It's one I've had my eye on for quite a long time, largely because of the intriguing name, so I decided to pay a visit. Very quiet this evening, and my motor-cycle was the only vehicle in the car-park.

A lovely walk round the common, and I'm sure I walked past a treacle mine (or, at least a large pond that was the colour of treacle :-) )

The final location was a real toughie; seriously well hidden. It's still sopping wet inside, but then I hadn't expected otherwise. I poured out more water that had accumulated since the last vist and signed the log - the log is still, as Roderick described, the only reasonably dry thing in the cache, the sacrificial soft toys supporting the log book much as Maha-pudma supports the earth.

Thanks for a fun cache, and a great story,

Rgds, Andy
Note 01 Feb 2009 by  Robin Lovelock   (Finds: 12   Score: 34)   (Hidden: 48   Score: 142)
     Open Log:    Personal use only
Yet again June and I had a good laugh - my tears are now dry - at your log entries. Many Thanks for this. I almost laughed as much as Sandvika's (Mudvika's) report of his eventual success finding the "California" cache :-)
I found it! 31 Jan 2009 by  heffalump007   (Finds: 40   Score: 143)   (Hidden: 5   Score: 10)
     Open Log:    Personal use only
Hippie!! A FTF went back with team Sandvika after a fist go at night, but we found the cache and found it very damp inside, whilst Sandvika was squeezing the toys out the heads fell off. The cache was found sharky & Penguin. TFTC
I found it! 31 Jan 2009 by  sandvika   (Finds: 51   Score: 142.5)   (Hidden: 13   Score: 66.5)
     Open Log:    Unrestricted
(: (: (: First To Find! :) :) :) I don't believe it! 2703 days old! 7 years, 4 months and 23 days! At first I thought that this was the original cache listed on GC but when I read the description there I realised that was a simple traditional cache, not a 4 stage multi-cache!

Heffalump007 and team Sandvika resumed the search we had given up previously in the dark. This time there was no mistake and in fact the whole thing was so much easier in daylight, not least because we could see landmarks and landscape features. We had managed to delete the next waypoint from our GPSrs but remembered the approximate location and the clue. This was good enough and the final clue ticket was soon in hand. Then it was only a short walk to the well-hidden cache. Penguin of team Sandvika found the cache, Heffalump007 did the retrieval.

The cache itself was rather caked in mud however we cleaned it up as well as we could. It was also extremely wet inside and we poured out the water and squeezed out the sodden plush toys as well as we could. Well, I have to be honest, this is really quite embarassing. As I squeezed the water out of the body of one of the toys, its head fell off. Mortified, I was extremely careful with the next one....only for the same thing to happen again :( :( I can't believe that they were so fragile when placed, however, I suspect that being wet and having gone through countless freeze and thaw cycles in the cache they became very fragile indeed. However, their main role in the cache is to act as sponges and support the cache log book and camera in their bag above any water!

Took several photos with the cache camera, signed log book.

TFTC, Sandvika. NC#25, Total#741
Note 24 Dec 2008 by  sandvika   (Finds: 51   Score: 142.5)   (Hidden: 13   Score: 66.5)
     Open Log:    Unrestricted
Surrey Heath Special Protection Area is strongly protected due to rare ground nesting birds using the site for breeding. We would thus agree that sticking to the paths and keeping dogs on leads is important at all times, however, if you live in the area and are flexible about when you visit, we would suggest avoiding March to July as this is the breeding season.

On Christmas Eve there were no nesting birds and no people present, we had the place to ourselves.

We found the information required, and soon had the first clue tickets in hand. Unfortunately, the path that seemed to lead us to the next waypoint took a turn to the wrong direction and a side path petered out in a boggy area. We pressed on hoping to find another path but were met with impentetrable vegetation and the sound of running water from within. As it was by now dark, we decided it would be better to complete the cache another day. A bit of plotting in Google Earth will probably help find the best path to take.

Thanks for the hunt, Sandvika.
Note 15 Feb 2007 by  Robin Lovelock   (Finds: 12   Score: 34)   (Hidden: 48   Score: 142)
     Open Log:    Personal use only
Amazed to find the cache still there, and in remarkably good condition. Filled in the log book, took a piccy of myself, then put the big box back where it was, well hidden. Also found at least one clue ticket at the earlier waypoints. Added some more, to cover the possability that they get lost.
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