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Report - Flax Bourton Underground Fuel Depot, Somerset - June 2015

Discussion in 'Other Sites' started by Bertie Bollockbrains, Jun 25, 2015.

  1. Bertie Bollockbrains

    Bertie Bollockbrains 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Sep 1, 2014
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    Flax Bourton Underground Fuel Depot was an MoD fuel depot, part of the Government Pipelines and Storage System (GPSS) with its own railway sidings. The site is now disused and used for sheep farming.

    This site had so much potential and looks impressive on Google Earth. I went hoping for an interesting explore but it turned out that every door or hatch was padlocked with up to 3 padlocks each. Still I was able to walk around the site with ease despite the warning signs on the fence saying hidden cameras in trees and strangely “children will be prosecuted”. Well I’m not a child, so I felt relaxed on this explore safe in the knowledge that adults were welcome here. Anyways whoever owns this site now must had gone to Homebase and bought about 400 padlocks and is now carrying one hell of a key bunch in his pocket.

    Whilst the explore was disappointing, I’m posting this up as this site did appear as a lead on these forums back in 2011 by WhoDaresWins and that lead caused a fair amount of discussion at the time. The site has also recently been added onto a locations map in a regional section of these forums by @Seffy as a site to be done - so I assume there would be interest in me posting this up. This is the first actual report of the site.


    The Government Pipelines and Storage System (GPSS) was initially built during World War II and was used to supply fuel for Operation Pluto (the supply of fuel across the Channel to France to support Operation Overlord). It was originally owned by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and operated by the Oil and Pipelines Agency (OPA) on the MoD's behalf.

    It seems that the Flax Bourton depot was built in the 1950s and it's railway sidings (known as Tyntesfield Sidings) built in 1956-7 to serve the depot.

    The depot in the 1970s:

    In May 2012 the UK Government announced plans to sell all or part of the GPSS and legislation to enable it to do so was included in the Energy Act 2013.

    Three years after announcing the plan to sell GPSS, on 20 March 2015, the GPSS was acquired by Spanish oil network operator Compañía Logística de Hidrocarburos (CLH) for £82m. The MoD also signed a contract with CLH for the military to be continued to be supplied with fuel via the GPSS. The sale did not include the six coastal Oil Fuel Depots owned by the MoD, which continued to be operated and maintained by the residual OPA.

    Following its acquisition by CLH, the GPSS was subsequently renamed the CLH Pipeline System (CLH-PS).


    The site consists of 6 large earth-covered circular fuel tanks, and another 2 underground tanks that are run into a natural hillside.





    Unfortunately all doors were padlocked

    On top of each tank were various vents and hatches. Again all padlocked, and I did check every one.




    The railway sidings ran through the site, with a few remains of wooden sleepers


    This was only building/structure that could be entered and was once a pump house:


    Next door was a larger building which could not be entered, but here's a shot taken through a window:

    Finally the tanker loading/unloading area:


    Thanks for reading
    Bolts, Seffy, Lenston and 1 other person like this.

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  2. UrBaN2k14

    UrBaN2k14 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    May 13, 2014
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    It must be a nightmare managing all those keys! Top report! :)
  3. Oort

    Oort The Spice Must Flow.
    Regular User

    Aug 26, 2014
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    Nice! Shame you couldn't get into anything, good job we didn't bother making a special trip for this one.
  4. Bertie Bollockbrains

    Bertie Bollockbrains 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Sep 1, 2014
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    I was literally driving past for other reasons, so not a wasted journey at all for me. I hope reports like this prevent those long wasted journeys which in this game we have all done. I'm glad I went in, as the site was fantastic for wildlife and I entertained myself taking wildlife photos (not shown here) including some rare butterfly species and even a couple of orchid species. But now I'm sounding like an anorak which I am I guess.
    Oort, Choo Choo m8ty and UrBaN2k14 like this.
  5. Choo Choo m8ty

    Choo Choo m8ty Mr Reality Hacker
    Regular User

    Sep 29, 2014
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    Looks great can see why you wanted to check it out. I can just imagine what's hidden below epic
  6. Paradox

    Paradox 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Mar 30, 2014
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    I like that Bertie, bit different :thumb
  7. Seffy

    Seffy Bally up lads!
    Regular User

    Feb 23, 2011
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    Home Page:
    Nice to see something from inside the perimeter at last, having cycled past this literally hundreds of times and never looked myself :O

    Good work mate.
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