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Report - "OFFICIAL VISIT" monkton farleigh CAD, Canteen & Power House - 26th september 2009

Discussion in 'Underground Sites' started by tommo, Sep 29, 2009.

  1. tommo

    tommo shire lad born & breeding
    Regular User

    Sep 12, 2008
    Likes Received:
    What can I say ………..what an amazing day out, woke up at 7.00 am washed, clothed….fed and jumped in the car, keeping to the speed limit (not easy when your feeling like a kid at Christmas) I drove over to bath ford, up the big hill outside browns folly to the gates of no return………..!!, pulled up to in the car park …..

    Now I was a visitor but I swear some body else had knocked it down,

    It soon hit me that I was here,

    and it was legit ……..darkplaces does Wansdyke part 1 (porno name in the making)

    today I had the pleasure of a guided tour round Monkton Farleigh CAD, well guided as in here is the entrance off u go, first up we got down to the paper work side of things, after signing our lives away, a quick chat and a brief safety induction on how to use the self rescuer, we split off in to our teams

    A team was made up of Hannibal, B.A, face, Murdock………. Sorry wrong team

    Team A
    01 simonrl
    02 Simply
    03 Madrab
    04 Frigbob
    05 Walrus
    06 Boxhead

    Team B (B for best):thumb

    07 root
    08 Jagman
    09 Rookinella
    10 Dark Prince
    11 Tommo
    12 Remoteneeded

    Root choose teams so that he could cover all areas for the forums, there where darkplaces, cavers. Subbrit and 28days members, the idea was every one would go back and do a report for there forums and also a large collection of pics and reports could be used for a Subbrit presentation

    A little history before we get started

    Monkton Farleigh originally started of as Farleigh down quarry in the 1881 times where it was owned by a Mr Wade Brown who then went on to sell it in 1907 to a very well known quarryman in the area, he goes by the name of Sir Charles Hobhouse.
    Who also went on to quarry the stone until 1937 when like many other quarries in the area the MoD acquired the land, above and below ground with the intention of using it for ammunitions storage, but Monkton Farleigh was to be the biggest of CAD in the area and little did they know would end up being the biggest in Europe, the Royal Engineers moved in and started the laborious task of removing the deads, they got to work cleaning out the only slope shaft which was main east and soon realised they would need more access points so another parallel slope shaft was carved out to create main west, they worked very long hours in very big groups down there to create 8 new districts 12-20.
    19 and 20 where temporary holding districts which went under the name K & L districts to start with but where both in use before any of the other districts where finished, a total of 6 slope shaft including Farleigh down sidings where now in place to help remove the waste and bring in all the materials needed to convert and strengthen the infrastructure underground, a full air conditioning plant was build underground and also a refrigeration plant and boiler house was on the surface, The refrigeration plant chilled water for the underground dehumidifiers The boiler house provided hot water for the radiators which heated the air underground in the depot. But they also had the ability to cool the air with refrigerators as it passed though the bottom of the air shafts, sewage ejectors where installed along with full lighting and air ducting. Every district had a conveyor belt system which would feed on to the main conveyors in main east and west so the ammo could be bought in from the top side to any of the districts.

    Time line

    1881 – Quarrying work started by Mr W Brown

    1907 – Site sold to Mr C hobhouse a local quarryman

    1937 – MoD acquired the site and work started on turned it in to 2 sites that we know today , one being browns folly and the other being Monkton Farleigh, browns was only really used for air raid shelters for the base camp above and also for a short period when they where doing up 19 and 20 districts for material storage

    1938 – April- mains electricity was now in place
    May- excavation for main west slope shaft was started and
    completed in eleven weeks

    July – work begins on district 19

    1939 – May - district 19 was finished and handed over to the RAOC
    Royal Army Ordinance Corps
    September - district 20 was finished and handed over to the

    1940 – Work started on the power house

    1941 – Switch gear and transformers where bought into the power
    house and fitted

    1942 – September - A Ruston-Hornsby generator was fully installed and
    test runs began

    1943 – 2x 25000 gallon tanks where welded onsite and fitted in a room
    near the power house for the fuel for the generator

    1960 – MAFF the (ministry of agriculture, fish and food) looked at using
    the place as a strategic depot for food, plans where drawn up
    and photos taken but nothing ever came of it

    1965: it was decommissioned and it took two years to empty the
    depot before closure. The last box of ammunition, with the
    chalked word ‘AMEN’, left via Main West Surface Building. The
    site was abandoned and left to fend for its self

    1980 – From the 1980 onwards scrap metal merchants moved in and
    cleaned the place out of all cooper and metal that was worth
    any money

    1984 – Volunteers took over the site and cleaned it up to use as a
    museum, but this only lasted a couple of years

    1996 – Wansdyke acquired Monkton Farleigh and start to renovate for
    there own purpose

    The rest is history as they say!!

    Steven the mines manager was leading the day and has been the contact through the whole trip planning, he was the one that got us a tour and put a lot of hard work in to making this day happen, top guy for all your input,
    Wansdyke have done an amazing job and have cleaned up a lot of the old site, and have already converted 12-18 districts in to a state of the art, top notch secure depot and every single room can be monitored and temperatures set to the customers liking, the company strides its self on providing the ultimate secure data storage and archiving, but through out the whole renovation process they have been keen to protect the history of the site and the artefacts in there. One thing that was mentioned is that they are going to repair as much air ducting as possible and we where told they are only going to have to re-fabricate 150 metres in total for both 19 and 20

    So on with the tour………

    There was a lot of stuff we where not allowed to photo including main west slope shaft and main west its self which was a shame as with all the lights on and a mint paint job it would of made a nice pic and also none of the 12-18 districts where to be entered or photographed, which was a bit of a tease as the doors where all open but the lights where turned out

    So after heading down main west we turned of in to the old emergency escape tunnel that connects 19 and main west.
    #1 tommo, Sep 29, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2009

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