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Report - Box and Browns Quarries, Wiltshire, May 2014

Discussion in 'Mines and Quarries' started by Cracked, May 22, 2014.

  1. Cracked

    Cracked 28DL Regular User
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    It's been an age since I've actually managed to get a report up - so here goes.
    With a friend from France, 42, coming over; Lightfield, the missus and I decided to take her underground in Wiltshire. Because that's obviously where one takes friends (it helps that she's a cataphile ;) ).
    After a bit of a logistical nightmare - and finding out that Gaj, Bigjobs, Fishbrain and Morse were coming too, we decided it was easiest to all meet down in Box, and left 42 in the gentlemanly hands of Mr. Gaj and Mr. Jobs...
    What is there to say really; we ran around, saw most of the cool stuff, the red door was sadly closed (which is where we ran into each other...) Pub afterwards and then onto Browns to sleep. Eventually. Props to the guys for finding it in the pitch black and pissing rain, and to Jobs for sorting out the hammock points. I'll buy you a pint next time.

    I have to say, I much prefer Browns to Box, much dryer, almost no graff (apart from in my last two shots), pretty place.

    Not too many shots, sadly, but loads of fun was had with wire wool.



    History shamelessly stolen from Lenston and Els.

    Browns Folly Mine

    This an SSSI (Special Site of Scientific Interest) because of its national importance for hibernating and roosting bats.

    Brown's Folly is a tower situated near Bathford overlooking Bath. Beneath the folly in the nature reserve are the entrances to part of Brown's Folly Quarry. This stone mine is fairly big but not too complicated.

    The southern section consists of several long main routes, the waste stone is stacked up along the sides of the passages. There are few roof falls in this mine, probably due to good strong pillars at regular intervals.

    The main adit into the quarry was blasted by the military probably to prevent access to the Monkton Farleigh Ammunition Depot connected to Brown's Folly.

    In the Southern section there exists some stables amongst other interesting features. Further into the hillside there is an area known as Clapham Junction, so called because of the rails laid in the floor. This was the junction of several routes into the different headings of the mine. The existence of rails means that this was a relatively recent and large mine.

    Box Mine

    The ready availability of limestone in the Cotswolds had made it a convenient building material since at least Roman times. Corsham sits on the Greater Oolitic Seam which, since it extends in about a 20 mile radius of Bath, has been termed 'Bath Stone'. This stone differs from the Cotswold seams further north by having a lower ironstone content and therefore being lighter in colour. It is also less friable and so suitable for producing the dressed blocks of stone so common in the buildings of towns like Corsham and Bath.

    Until the 19th century, the Corsham area had been quarried chiefly for local use. The construction of the Box Hill railway tunnel by the great engineer Brunel, however, brought the means of transporting stone easily further afield at the same time, coincidentally, as uncovering huge new deposits. So much stone was shipped from Corsham now that Bath Stone was sometimes also known as 'Corsham Stone'.

    After the First World War, the expense of extracting stone and the development of cheaper building materials almost brought quarrying for Bath Stone to an end. With the renewed interest in conservation and building design sympathetic to its context, high quality limestone is again much in demand and quarries are being worked again, not only in the Corsham area, but also at Limpley Stoke near Bath. It is understood that stone is currently being extracted regularly from up to three different quarries in Corsham.


    Great time out - big thanks to Lightfield for driving. On with the show.

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  2. Garou Garou

    Garou Garou 28DL Regular User
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    Great to see you all there. Nice photos, Catullus.
     
  3. Seffy

    Seffy Bally up lads!
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    Nicely done. What does that MoD sign on the red door say?
     
  4. Cracked

    Cracked 28DL Regular User
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    Something about penguins I think! (Not an official sign.)
     
  5. REEF

    REEF Getthegirlkillthebaddies
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    Great shots, I agree Browns is the best :)
     
  6. smithnweston

    smithnweston 28DL Full Member
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    I agree browns folly is one of the best mines around also monks park and ridge quarry are as clean and dry as browns folly i would show you but cant add photos.
     
  7. Paradox

    Paradox 28DL Regular User
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    Was nice to meet you - you got some lovely shots there! :thumb
     
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