Farleigh Down Quarry

Farleigh Down Stone was produced from here and South Farleigh Quarry nearby. The earliest part of the quarry was near the escarpment to the west now known as Brown’s Folly Mine since it was separated by a wall from the ammunition depot and abandonned.

One of the earliest quarrymen here was recorded as a Mr. William Long

In 1752 James Woodward, William Battersby and Samuel Isaac had rights to quarry stone at a yearly rent of ¬£2 5s. John Dyer, William Weston, and James Hiscox also had quarries in the eighteenth century. Samuel Watson, John Watson, James Carter, George Yeeles and John Wiltshire Snr. and Jnr. had rights in 1829. Henry Spackman,George Fluester (1839), Rogers and Rawlings, Pictor and Sons, Randell and Saunders, S.R. Noble and H. Stone and Sons had quarries in the nineteenth century. A slope shaft was sunk in 1828, has a date of 1839 on sawn face. In 1881, 20 quarrymen lived in Monkton Farleigh and 10 quarries were being worked. In the 1890’s three company’s were still quarrying stone here with a total area of the underground workings reaching 2,591,000 sq. ft.

Farleigh Down Quarry  was acquired from the Hobhouse estate and became the biggest of the sub depots collectively known as the Central Ammunitions Depot Corsham, a total of two and a half million square feet of storage. On its completion in 1941 this one depot was able to hold up to 120,000 tons of ammunition

The Monkton Farleigh depot was closed down in 1960 and the ammunition was disposed of over the following four years. In 1972 it was decided this depot and Eastlays would be sold off by the Ministry of Defence which was completed in 1975 to EMF Farming Associates. They planned to grow mushrooms at the Monkton Farleigh but due to planning delays the depot lay abandonned for nearly ten years. When planning permission was not granted a lot of the cables and metal fixtures were sold off for scrap. In 1984 the site was restored by enthusiastic volunteers and opened to the public as a musuem. Sadly, despite it’s sucess, the freeholder of the site became bankrupt in 1990 and the site was once again looted for any remaining artefacts.

Bottom of Main East slope shaft.jpg

In 1996 the main part of the mine was acquired by Wansdyke Security who already owned Brockleaze Quarry and part of Westwood Quarry and have since created a secure storage facility here, expanding on their other operations.

 

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Monkton Farleigh Quarries » Farleigh Down Quarry Media
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