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Report - Farleigh Down Tunnel - June '10 - Finally!

Discussion in 'Mines and Quarries' started by Lectrician, Jun 19, 2010.

  1. Lectrician

    Lectrician LED Crazy
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    Farleigh Down Tunnel

    (Monkton Farleigh, near Bath)


    Blatant quote from http://www.nettleden.com/venues/farleigh-down/
    I persuaded the wife to travel to Bristol with me, on the promise of going shopping at Cribbs Causeway Shopping Mall.......Well, after leaving a little late, spending more time than thought underground and taking far too many pics, she only managed an hour in the mall!

    On with the pics and the tale of the day.....

    I know this tunnel has been done several times, but thought it would be good for my first underground explore as the access is really easy. I have ordered a new SLR camera, but this unfortunately did not arrive in time for this trip, so I now have a perfect excuse to go 'shopping' again! Excuse the quality of the pics - I started with the Fuji point and press, and ended up resorting to the Sony Ericsson camera phone as this seemed to capture far more.

    I have learnt from this explore that although the lighting was OK for me, I really need more for a proper explore, for taking decent pics, and to encourage the wife to come a little further! I did come prepared with two halogen torches and two camping battery powered lanterns, but I think I need some extra serious candle power!

    We arrived on site thanks to the google mapping from Collingwood, and the directions of the SatNav controlled unnervingly by Homer Simpson (doh!). All credit to Homer, we arrived bang on at the estimated time at the exact spot indicated by Collingwood - we parked, and almost excitingly jogged (well me anyway) down the track to the old ammunitions platform (passed several skips and evidence of soil spoil being levelled on the site which confirms earlier reports).

    After the 100 odd mile drive I was glad to find the platform exactly as per the pics from previous reports with no attempts to secure the site.

    After dragging the wife away from the 'real' railway tracks, waving at the passing commuters, we descended the well-documented steps into the darkness, past the famous ghost......Not a fan of graffiti, but top marks for that!

    The wife came about 200 yards up the tunnel with me, but decided to stay there while I explored to the end. I warn anyone who wishes to do this explore that the gradient is 1:8, and although this looks nothing when your in a tunnel with nothing to reference to, by the time you have travelled just over a mile you are certainly ready for a drink! The tunnel is perfectly straight, and is a perfect steady gradient. It seems to go on forever until you finally reach the end! Allow 20 mins there, and 20 mins back!

    Apologise for the amount of photos - blame this on the excited newbie (me)! Mods, if you feel it is too picture hungry, feel free to remove the dead wood!

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    The famous decent......
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    Ladder leading under the platform......
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    Here he is - the infamous ghost!
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    Half way up the tunnel it turns from a square concrete "cut and cover" type tunnel into a proper excavated affair......
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    Too late now?
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    One of maybe a hundred smashed light fittings......
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    Just to prove I did exhaust myself and reach the end! The draught here is amazing! There is a little hole through into what look likes it could be the cellar of a building - the wind is whistling through it! A good thing really! There is evidence of rubbish (fairly recent) being dumped just at the hole through the end wall, so I would be interested to know where this is! It is cut off cables from a recent fire alarm install by the looks of it.
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    A bit eerie - fog on the way back!
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    And we're out of here (a quote from the film 'taken' I am reliably advised by my brother!).....
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    And finally, evidence of some recent predecessors! A cardboard box on the access road!
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    #1 Lectrician, Jun 19, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 20, 2010

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  2. Lectrician

    Lectrician LED Crazy
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    I have been having a google around and now realise that this portion of the tunnel is around 1/20th of the amount of tunnels, let alone the vast storage areas, generator and control rooms, air con plant etc!

    The hole is small, and even if you where lean enough to squeeze through there is just mountains of debris the other side.

    I would LOVE to see more of this site beond the wall - anyone know of any other access points that are do-able? I believe some of areas are owned and used by companies for storage.

    Definantly worth a visit, and if you do, you HAVE to make it to the end!
     
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