Report - - Kingsdown/Swan Mine, Wiltshire - Sept 2014 | Mines and Quarries | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Kingsdown/Swan Mine, Wiltshire - Sept 2014


Fear is the little death.
Regular User
It's been done a ton of times before but this was our first visit so we wanted to do everything down there,
A lovely medium sized mine, with plenty to see, including tools, cranes, and horse prints.
It is almost completely free of modern graffiti and has a nice set of pretty smaller tunnels
and spaces on the western side before you get into the mine proper.


Kingsdown was a less important working, it was not viable to lay down trolley roads (tramways)
and the stone was carried away by horse drawn wagons or carts, it was the last quarry to do this.
Parts of the quarry were worked by up to three different quarrymasters at the same time, they all
shared the main haul road in and out of the quarry.

From 1886 George Wilbraham Northey, Esq leased a part to Richard Joseph Marsh and Company Ltd, in December
1887 this was taken over by the Bath Stone Firms Ltd. Marsh then formed a new company named Marsh, Son
and Gibbs Ltd, who worked another part of Kingsdown Quarry, and their business was bought by the Bath
Stone Firms Ltd in 1909.

A Box quarryman named George Butt also worked part of Kingsdown Quarry, after his death the business continued
under the style of George Butt and Sons until 1932. The last newcomer to dig stone in Kingsdown Quarry was A W Angell
of Bathford from 1921 to 1926.

Source: http://www.boxpeopleandplaces.co.uk/box-quarries.html

The Visit

The standard party of 4 met up on a lovely Sunday afternoon, for a chance to explore the now disused Swan Mine, and, as
most good trips start we ended up in the car park of “The Swan” a lovely little traditional pub, just opposite the
mine’s entrance.

After a quick drink, and kitting up, a quick wander over the road and to the left of the bus stop led us to find the
East Entrance of the mine. The bit just inside the entrance was really dodgy, 2 large boulders were just hanging
from the roof, they could have fallen at any moment. We stayed to the left, and got past them a bit quick, and soon
found ourselves deeper inside the mine workings.

All in all we spent about 4.5 hours down there, made it all the way around the route and checked out other POI's on
the way. Had a great time and even managed to collect half a bin bag of rubbish. Then onto the Swan for a well deserved
pint and crisps. The one thing we didn't see were the chains holding the pub up but I believe they're in the somewhat
dodgy section of the mine so we didn't try.

Ourtcloud: On a personal note I'd like to apologise to Huey as I was so knackered after this explore that I bailed on him the following day. Sorry Mate it won't happen again.

The Pics

FIX1T getting the camcorder ready, headcam whirring already!

This was the view down the route we took

at the end the passage narrowed, and came to our first slot! The image below shows Carole below, and Ourtcloud making the climb up.

Onwards, a Ladder, and I couldn’t resist making this one black and white. I had to shout at Ourtcloud to stop when I saw my shadow appear, as it was such an awesome shot!

Carole “being born” into the main haullageway from the Letterbox

And Ourtcloud following suit!

The view down the Main Haullageway towards the “Rails in the Roof”

Point 3 on the survey: the point where Main Haullageway, South East Passage and Crane Passage / South Passage meet.

Trying out our light placement techniques!

Looking up at “Rails in the Roof” and onto the Main Haullageway, FIX1T was working upto going under!

On our walk along South East Passage, we came across this really well preserved saw sharpening bench, files and associated equipment, complete with an original saw, nicely lit by Ourtcloud!

A set of hoof prints in the mud.

A good shot of a large pillar, the main roof support of the wide end workings

No Turning Back!!

There was a sunken section to the right, with this crude tank drawing

We then returned to point 3, and then continued the explore down South Passage, where we found some lovely calcite deposits, the below shot was literally glistening in the light, which i unfortunately couldn’t capture in the photo

Hitler made an appearance too!

Ageing beams holding up the roof, and a crude horse picture:

A group shot, at “The Loop” our exit from this room was the the left of TallRich in the corner between the deads.

After the loop, a small detour at some falls took us to a crude train drawing on the wall:

The big swooping bend on the tramway, on the way back down South Passage, where Ourtcloud kindly left his glasses!

The only stone trough that remains, once used to water the horses tired from hauling the stone blocks out of the mine, now a lovely calcite and “cave pearl” display

Why is there always a boot in these mines?!?

The large roof fall just before the Cranes…

Lovely (nearly) intact crane


and a crushed crane, hard hat wouldn’t have helped here!

So, we’d finished our trip, and it was time to leave, so we returned to the Main Passage, and took a second look at “Rails in the Roof”

then continued through the fall shown below, which was a bit of a crawl

not quite sure how to explain this!?!

Ourtcloud making his exit!

Pics: Tallrich & Ourtcloud
Text and History: Tallrich

Thanks for looking!!
Last edited:


Fear is the little death.
Regular User
Re: Kingsdown/Swan Mine, Wiltshire - Sep 2014

Thanks man! It's a really lovely little mine with some great features.


living in a cold world
Regular User
Re: Kingsdown/Swan Mine, Wiltshire - Sep 2014

I've never seen a proper comprehensive report on this one, until now. Good work, thanks for sharing!

The Wombat

Mr Wombat
28DL Full Member
Re: Kingsdown/Swan Mine, Wiltshire - Sep 2014

Very nice report :thumb


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Re: Kingsdown/Swan Mine, Wiltshire - Sep 2014

Thanks for posting mate, this was probably my favorite mine visit to date!


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Re: Kingsdown/Swan Mine, Wiltshire - Sep 2014

Very nice report, really enjoyed that, it looked like a great trip. I'm loving how much stuff is still left down there, I didn't think it would all be so intact. The cranes especially are bloody awesome.


Fear is the little death.
Regular User
Re: Kingsdown/Swan Mine, Wiltshire - Sep 2014

Thank you, if mines are your thing definitely check it out! It may not be the biggest or have the coolest stuff but it is rather charming and very clean. And, if you time it right you can fall out of the mine, cross the road (change first!! Landlord gets grumpy at muddy people) and have a pint and some food at the pub.


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Re: Kingsdown/Swan Mine, Wiltshire - Sep 2014

If I was from the area I'd be in there like a shot! But unfortunately it's a flight/ferry ride away from me. I do love my mines though so I'll have to keep it in mind if I'm in the area, it's definitely one of the more interesting ones I've seen even if you say it isn't too big.

Ha, that sounds brilliant, that's exactly what most abandoned mines are lacking I find :D