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Report - RAF Chilmark

Discussion in 'Underground Sites' started by andyking, Sep 7, 2010.

  1. andyking

    andyking Guest

    First off - a bit of site history:

    RAF Chilmark

    Chilmark was a small limestone quarry worked to provide stone for Salisbury Cathedral. The quarry closed in 1935 when demand for limestone fell due to the increased use of concrete for building purposes. The quarry and surrounding land were bought by the Air Ministry in 1936.

    In contrast to the other RAF ammunition depots, Chilmark was stable. The limestone was of good quality, so fewer pillars were needed to support the roof, and the floor was level. The entrances were in poor condition, but these were strengthened with a concrete lining which gave the tunnels the appearance of the London tube!

    The first consignment of war stores arrived in May 1937. Chilmark’s claim to fame is the fact that it was on the only RAF ammunition depot to survive the war.

    In the early years of the war Chilmark took over a number of remote satellite depots inlcuding two of the War Office underground sites at Corsham (Eastlays Quarry and Ridge Quarry) and also developed immense surface storage sites in woodland at Dinton and Grovelley Wood.

    After the war Chilmark continued to be a major store of ammunition (particularly aircraft delivered ordnance) both above and bellow ground and was also used as a proofing ground - basically functional testing of elements from different batches of explosives. Ammunition was delivered and recieved via the national rail network to exchange sidings, where it was transfered to the sites own extensive narrow guage railway system. Some remenants of this still exist above ground and exist in complete condition in the underground part of the site.

    The site eventually transfered it's last remaining ordnance to other sites in 1993, and then closed in 1994. Since then the site has been undergoing clearance to return the land to a safe condition. Some parts of the domestic site have been sold on to a security company, while Chilmark Stone occupy some parts of the site.

    Anyway - on to the pictures - taken in 2008 if memory serves me right :rolleyes:

    A map of the underground storage area

    The walk down to the entrance

    Entrance to the caves

    Train reception area

    The underground office

    We didn't stick about here too long...

    The weapons lift

    Sadly (or not..?) it didn't work!

    Headshunt for wagons going into the lift

    Playing trains!

    Sign in the weapons lift

    Intersting pencil drawing

    The last load out

    One of the areas which would have contained a 'stack' of explosives

    The ghostly face!

    This area was reputed to once have been a morgue

    Deeper inside. The wooden battens were originally used to raise the 'stack' of explosives up off the floor

    I hope you've enjoyed a look at the pictures. If you've any questions at all about RAF Chilmark, then give me a shout - I'm fairly knowledgeable(ish!) about the place. I do have further pics too which I can post if pople are interested. Thanks for looking guys.
    #1 andyking, Sep 7, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2010
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  2. canute

    canute 货车司机和国王
    Regular User

    Dec 15, 2008
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    Re: RAF Chilmark (pic heavy)

    Too right, though this was a year or two back. Blooming dusty inside the quarry due to the ventilation system to keep the radon level down (I suppose chain-sawing the stone didn't help either).





    (The SAS wannabe is from the site you pass on the left just before the quarry isn't he? http://www.subbrit.org.uk/rsg/sites/c/chilmark/)
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