Monks Park Quarry

Also knows as Sumsion Monks or Northern Monks Park Quarry, this quarry is located off Monks Lane between The Ridge and Gastard opened in 1886 by Issac Sumsion. This quarry is now divided into two distinct areas being the military stores to the north and the working quarry to the south. Monks Park Quarry is adjoined underground to Ridge Quarry but now sealed for security purposes.

The original slope shaft to the south has 212 steps and the stone in this area is in 23 ft beds – greater than the beds to the west.

In 1940 the quarry was taken over by the War Department and used as an ammunition and explosives store although the whole area was not converted to a good standard. The site became surplus in 1941 and sat empty until 1954 when a 10 acre area of the quarry was converted into a Royal Naval Stores Depot as an extension to the stores at Copenacre Quarry and Spring Quarry. The conversion of 110,000 sq ft took two years and during this time, 250,000 tons of waste was removed, foors laid, ceilings and pillars strengthened where necessary and engineering services installed. To make the quarry suitable for storage, a new reinforced lift shaft and transporter winch were constructed that could carry large items underground. The depot was air conditioned and heated to a constant 81 degrees Fahrenheit and an underground testing laboratory was built to service, calibrate and recondition electronic equipment held in the stores.

After the Royal Navy had moved in, quarrying commenced again in the adjacent quarry in the mid 1950’s.  Samson coal cutters  were used sucessfully by the Royal Engineers to re-shape the areas needed for military use during the war and were redundant afterwards, however, they proved very efficient at quarrying stone with minimal labour and used for decades by the Bath and Portland Stone Co.

The stores were closed in 1995 and the Navy’s part of Monks Park Quarry was sold in 1997 to Leafield Engineering who deal with the sale and disposal of surplus MOD equipment. They used the quarry for about twenty years but the transporter winch required a lot of maintenance which proved uneconomical to carry out so they decided to move to a more suitable facility elsewhere. In February 2009 they also suffered a serious fire underground which caused significant damage.


Quarrying here ceased in 2004 and the site remained dormant for 12 years until Hanson removed their first stone from the site in January 2016 but soon sold the business to Johnston Quarry Group. In 2018 the quarry was deemed unviable by Johnston Quarry Group and ceased production of stone, eleven quarrymen were laid off.

Monks Park used to house the quarry museum before it was moved to Hartham Park Quarry on the other side of Corsham. There are still some saws hanging on the walls from this time.


Corsham Quarries » Monks Park Quarry Media
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