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Report - RAF Chilmark

A

andyking

Guest
Guest
#1
First off - a bit of site history:

RAF Chilmark

Chilmark was a small limestone quarry worked to provide stone for Salisbury Cathedral. The quarry closed in 1935 when demand for limestone fell due to the increased use of concrete for building purposes. The quarry and surrounding land were bought by the Air Ministry in 1936.

In contrast to the other RAF ammunition depots, Chilmark was stable. The limestone was of good quality, so fewer pillars were needed to support the roof, and the floor was level. The entrances were in poor condition, but these were strengthened with a concrete lining which gave the tunnels the appearance of the London tube!

The first consignment of war stores arrived in May 1937. Chilmark’s claim to fame is the fact that it was on the only RAF ammunition depot to survive the war.

In the early years of the war Chilmark took over a number of remote satellite depots inlcuding two of the War Office underground sites at Corsham (Eastlays Quarry and Ridge Quarry) and also developed immense surface storage sites in woodland at Dinton and Grovelley Wood.

After the war Chilmark continued to be a major store of ammunition (particularly aircraft delivered ordnance) both above and bellow ground and was also used as a proofing ground - basically functional testing of elements from different batches of explosives. Ammunition was delivered and recieved via the national rail network to exchange sidings, where it was transfered to the sites own extensive narrow guage railway system. Some remenants of this still exist above ground and exist in complete condition in the underground part of the site.

The site eventually transfered it's last remaining ordnance to other sites in 1993, and then closed in 1994. Since then the site has been undergoing clearance to return the land to a safe condition. Some parts of the domestic site have been sold on to a security company, while Chilmark Stone occupy some parts of the site.

Anyway - on to the pictures - taken in 2008 if memory serves me right :rolleyes:

Mapofthemine.jpg

A map of the underground storage area

downtotheentrance.jpg

The walk down to the entrance

Caveentrance.jpg

Entrance to the caves

Trainreceptionarea.jpg

Train reception area

Undergroundoffice.jpg

The underground office

Wedidntloiter.jpg

We didn't stick about here too long...

Thebomblift.jpg

The weapons lift

Sadly-itdidntwork.jpg

Sadly (or not..?) it didn't work!

Headshunt.jpg

Headshunt for wagons going into the lift

Playingtrains.jpg

Playing trains!

Liftsign.jpg

Sign in the weapons lift

Interestingpicture.jpg

Intersting pencil drawing

Lastloadout.jpg

The last load out

Allexplosivesremoved.jpg

One of the areas which would have contained a 'stack' of explosives

Ghostlyface.jpg

The ghostly face!

Idontthinkso.jpg

This area was reputed to once have been a morgue

Deeperinside.jpg

Deeper inside. The wooden battens were originally used to raise the 'stack' of explosives up off the floor

I hope you've enjoyed a look at the pictures. If you've any questions at all about RAF Chilmark, then give me a shout - I'm fairly knowledgeable(ish!) about the place. I do have further pics too which I can post if pople are interested. Thanks for looking guys.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

canute

货车司机和国王
Regular User
#2
Re: RAF Chilmark (pic heavy)

The working stone quarry is opposite the caves and has a section of the old narrow gauge railway still in use. It runs into a yard where the lift shaft seen in the pics comes up and that yard is now used as a stonework's for Chilmark Stone. The foreman at the quarry was pretty friendly and used to let lads go and have a look including into the working stone mine (Teffont Quarry I think it's called) so you could always ask.
Too right, though this was a year or two back. Blooming dusty inside the quarry due to the ventilation system to keep the radon level down (I suppose chain-sawing the stone didn't help either).
Dec08037.jpg


Dec08003-1.jpg


Dec08011-1.jpg


Dec08035.jpg


Dec08028.jpg


(The SAS wannabe is from the site you pass on the left just before the quarry isn't he? http://www.subbrit.org.uk/rsg/sites/c/chilmark/)