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Report - Farleigh Down Tunnel. March 2014

Discussion in 'Underground Sites' started by wellingtonian, Mar 31, 2014.

  1. wellingtonian

    wellingtonian Subterráneo
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    Farleigh Down Tunnel​


    Visited with tumbles, WhoDaresWins and Seffy on a beautiful sunny day. It was our second site of the day, on our Bristol meet tour.

    Having rocked up here a few weeks ago to find it sealed, we weren't entirely surprised to find it open again, and decided to make the most of the opportunity.

    Some history shamelessly lifted from subbrit

    Monkton Farleigh ammunition depot utilised an old stone quarry below a plateau some 450 feet above the valley floor in which ran the main line railway that was its principal source of supply. Before the depot could be commissioned, an efficient means was need to bring in ammunition from the railway at Farleigh Down Sidings. The sidings were just over a mile from the depot as the crow flies but more than four miles by road along steep and tortuous country lanes.

    The tunnel was designed to handle 1000 tons of ammunition daily. This was not scheduled for completion until 1941.

    The tunnel to the railway sidings at Shockerwick was a key feature of Monkton Farleigh mine, offering a secure route, invisible to aerial reconnaissance. The tunnel terminated at a loading platform thirty feet below ground level at a right angle to the main-line platform. The design was finalised in December, 1938, and by the end of the following year the upper terminus was completed. Boring the one-and-a-quarter-mile-long tunnel was a specialist task completed under contract by the Cementation Company. The tunnel runs from quarry floor level near Main West to the underground loading platform near the main line railway at a constant gradient of 1:81/2. Deep tunnelling was required for the top half of the route whilst the lower half is at or just below ground level and was constructed by the `cut and cover' method. A depth of 180 feet was reached near the edge of the Farleigh Down escarpment.

    So this is where the sidings from the main railway line were, and the slope shaft down to the loading area.


    10ae44ea72b60471dad952032982f00f_zps1f851cdf.jpg


    19a95bb823467b7ec707867f8f5a1b4f_zpsae5e3dc1.jpg


    2caff3771899d9749eae2c527db392f4_zps30f4099a.jpg


    At the bottom, the tunnel turns left through 90 degrees to this area


    403f52f7438428b8ca533e3eba7c3f55_zps764b3c57.jpg


    6d4047f42c2eda40f739f8af31565c8a_zpsed2a550e.jpg


    Archive photo


    ddac303be86d269d39343bb87300b365_zpsa2f98997.jpg


    This is the start of the conveyor tunnel


    e877ae315cee70ea090fd586674228ff_zps02adc130.jpg


    The first part is box section concrete


    b98eecf1fb4534cd9c5753259e51b837_zps33ebcefe.jpg


    Which changes to arched brickwork, painted white in true army style


    b10640d17620b3efcc0544bf044f9dd8_zpsec731cb1.jpg


    b5e6ea9fcfcb6e27e69aace03a3811bf_zps8930c830.jpg



    Yes we did reach the end......... not quite as exciting as it might have been......... but erosion is occurring!!

    Bloody calves were on fire by the time we re emerged..

    Headed to the pub for much needed sustenance, before we hit some more sites.

    Great day once again with the Brizzle crew.

    Cheers for looking :)
     

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  2. The Kwan

    The Kwan Easily Led
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    Looks brilliant this Wellie man :), good pictures and the pub ftw :thumb
     
  3. tumbles

    tumbles Trip Hopping
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    Good stuff mate, my legs wobble just at the thought of that hike again :D
     
  4. Lenston

    Lenston Bajo Tierra
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    Some nice shots there mate :thumb
     
  5. Ojay

    Ojay Admin
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    Someone been down with the gas axe then :D
     
  6. Seffy

    Seffy Bally up!
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    ^^ They'd done a proper job on this, that's for sure...

    Nice one N, glad to see a report from this trip going up too :thumb
     
  7. Walrus75

    Walrus75 28DL Full Member
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    And the track of which is quite obvious, in aerial view on Bing Maps nowadays, as a pale mark across the ploughed fields . Good job the Jerries didn't have it back then :D
     
  8. paulpowers

    paulpowers Massive Member
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    Hahaha that was sealed for long

    Good stuff there, and you got some nice crisp images
     
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