“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 finalized in December, 1938, and by the end of the following year the upper terminus was completed.”
I explored this with my partners in crime UrbanX and Tizzy and in the same trip we visited Browns Folly mine and scratched the surface of Box freestone mine. Farleigh Down tunnel was the perfect start to the day as the access was a walk straight in jobby and we didn’t see a sole apart from a few railway workers.
The entrance area and the large rooms underground were amazing just because of the amount of laughing gas cannisters laying around on the floor. You couldn’t move for nitrous cannisters, beer cans and used johnnys. It was clearly a massive site at one point (80’s and 90’s) for illegal raves and free parties, and to be fair what a place for a rave!
I was surprised by the size of the main room and the amount of graffiti and years of abuse that place has clearly been through. The tunnel itself was a horrible mile or so walk up a large tunnel which about half way up get smaller in size. At the end of the tunnel someone has made a good bloody effort with a disc cutter and concrete breaker to try and break through the steel plate blocking off the tunnel….none of us had the balls to climb through but I think its possible and we could feel a real draft coming through!
A good explore and defiantly worth a visit if your in the area. Not sure how long it will be left open like that though. I’m surprised the entrance hasn’t been backfilled already. And if anyone ever throws a rave there….let me know hahaha.
Thanks for looking