Report - - Adderbury/Milton G.W.R engine shed and quarry pump house: February 11th 2012 | Other Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Adderbury/Milton G.W.R engine shed and quarry pump house: February 11th 2012


28DL Member
28DL Member
I had heard rumours of an abandoned engine around Bloxham and Adderbury for quite some time after moving to the area of Oxfordshire where I now reside. After some asking around I worked out where it was hidden. I was dropped off by a friend and they left me to trudge into the pouring rain to go looking for it. When I started walking I had some hopes of a lost engine cooped away in it's shed. Although I didn't find this, what I discovered was more enlightening despite the wet weather. In hindsight I should of waited for it to stop raining, oh well. :)

Excerpt from Wikipedia

"Adderbury quarries

The partnership obtained leases to work ironstone on the south side of Adderbury Station in the late 1880s. Operations began in 1890 and the Partnership purchased a one foot eight inch gauge 0-4-0 locomotive Florence. A tramway was built on which Florence could be used, this ran from a tipping dock in Adderbury Station goods yard. The line ran south, initially on a gradient of 1 in 17, passing under the bridleway to Paper Mill Cottages and finally reaching the working face next to the Oxford Road. Company offices and locomotive shed were located at the top of the incline. Problems were experienced with locomotive operation (Tonks the company manager suggests the gradient was too steep for Florence) and the incline was changed to cable-haulage powered by a stationary steam engine. The flatter route to the quarries was horse-worked. Florence was transferred to the Partnership's quarries at Hook Norton."

Florence's possible basis (I do not own this image):

(I also apologise for the quality of some of the photos in advance)


The railway bridge where I was dropped off


A coding mark on the inside wall of the bridge


A look at another one of the railway arches


I went back along the old trackbed towards the top of the bridge despite nature trying to claim it...


Further along the track going away from the bridge


The remains of a fence post on top of a mound where a siding meets the main single line in a V shape.


By the looks of it local kids have built a little den nearby...


The building moulding with the tree might of kept it upright


If you look in the top right corner you can make out the kids den


I really need to go back to this place retake a few of the images. Apparently this pump house pumped the water from the tin mine where nearby German POWs mined during WW2, the quarry itself has long since been filled in.


Dumping ground




It'll give soon :(


Don't walk into the light!


Time to leave...


After leaving the pump house I began to worry that I had somehow missed the shed


Natures claiming back this land with this rail being swallowed by a nearby tree


I can only presume that the sleeper is concrete and it also appears to part of a set of points.


Rail holding bracket?


Ahead of me I encountered a mound of junk and earth. But as I walked ahead I spotted what I was looking for :D.


It took me a while to get my head around what was in front of me as I wasn't expecting anything of this size.


Shows what weathering can do to brickwork...


Someone needs to re-gutter the place...


The inspection pit inside the shed


As you can see the archway in the background has obviously broken up since the beeching cuts closed the line.

I've tried to explain this site as best I could and no doubt I have performed a few errors. Please feel free to tell me where and when I have gone wrong. I spoke to a friend of mine after this visit and he mentioned that where he volunteers at the Didcot railway centre, they are looking for a new engine shed. I have yet to hear from him about their interest in it. Hope you enjoyed reading :)

Nigel Phillips

28DL Member
28DL Member
It's a bit difficult to tell which of the 3 pits that were around Adderbury (Adderbury East, Adderbury West and Milton) this engine shed belongs to. Definitely not a GWR affair (the nearest engine shed was Banbury) and all the ironstone workings were closed long before the GWR line was closed in the early 1960's. Adderbury East pits had a stone engine shed and a gauge of 2', engine unknown but a 0-4-0T, Adderbury West pits were also narrow gauge (1'8") and it is here that Florence, a Manning Wardle "Locke Class" 0-4-0ST, was based for a short while before being moved to Hook Norton, Milton pits were where the German POW's worked between April 1918 and May 1919 (Jenknins, Brown and Parkhouse). Standard gauge, the engines were named Barry, Edgar, Margot and Betty, all 0-6-0ST's. Milton pits are tempting, the exchange sidings were close to the GWR line. The engine shed was reported to be of brick construction with arches at both ends, with space at one side for machinery. Russell (1977) reports this shed in use for farm equipment storage, as does Tonks (1959). That oil drum is definitely not from the 1920's.


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
This is clearly the Milton tramway shed (see red rectangle):


Note top centre the parchmarks for the quarry and the tramway.

Here is the 1922 O.S. map that shows the tramway and the shed. It matches the parchmarks:

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