Report - - "OFFICIAL VISIT" monkton farleigh CAD, Canteen & Power House - 26th september 2009 | Underground Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

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


shire lad born & breeding
Regular User
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.
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