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Report - Farleigh Down Tunnel. March 2014

wellingtonian

Subterráneo
Regular User
#1
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.


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


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Archive photo


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This is the start of the conveyor tunnel


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The first part is box section concrete


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


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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 :)
 

Walrus75

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#7
Farleigh Down Tunnel​
...
The tunnel to the railway sidings at Shockerwick was a key feature of Monkton Farleigh mine, offering a secure route, invisible to aerial reconnaissance. ...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...
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
 

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