An 18th Century Grotto in the former grounds of a British manor house. The entrance to the cavern is through a maze of arched passages leading to a square anti-chamber carved out of solid rock, at the far end is a concave recess with a pedistal resembeling a Roman altar. Another passage leads to a round chamber with a domed roof and classical pillars carved into the wall. Local legend has it that it was built by the family of the hall as a hiding place for one of its members who was a murderer. Others say it was used for secret pagan rituals or some diabolical cult. The reasons for the use of this temple still mystify archaeologists to this day.
Been stopping off at this post when passing for the last few years, but today was our lucky day! Someone had left the latch off and we where in. Deffinatly one of the best posts iv seen in recent years. “Royal Observer Corps Monitoring Posts are underground structures all over the United Kingdom, constructed as a result of the Corps’ nuclear reporting role and operated by volunteers during the Cold War between 1955 and 1991. In all but a very few instances the posts were built to a standard design consisting of a 14-foot-deep access shaft, a toilet/store and a monitoring room. The most unusual post was the non-standard one constructed in a cellar within Windsor Castle. A third of the total number of posts were closed in 1968 during a reorganisation and major contraction of the ROC. Several others closed over the next 40 years as a result of structural difficulties i.e. persistent flooding, or regular vandalism. The remainder of the posts were closed in 1991 when the majority of the ROC was stood down following the break-up of the Communist Bloc. Many have been demolished or adapted to other uses but the majority still exist, although in a derelict condition.”
Draycott Colliery probably closed in the 1940’s. A 1949 Ordnance Survey map shows the line back to the north portal of the tunnel and the exchange siding are still in place but the half mile of track into the colliery has been removed. Foxfield Colliery was the last survivor, finally closing in 1965. At that time Europa’s strategy was to create a balanced mining finance group with the three coal mining businesses generating the cash to fund their precious metals exploration activities centred in Western Europe and the US. Europa’s interests included a joint venture with Hecla Mining, exploring for gold in Montana; a platinum prospect in Bavaria; a joint venture exploration for gold in Alburquerque, Spain; and a gold concession at the mouth of the Pra River in Ghana. Europa also has a 22.7 per cent stake in Dana Exploration, an Irish exploration group, which has interests in Ireland, Ghana and Botswana. Europa’s faith in Draycott Cross was, however, short lived. The colliery closed early in 1991 and the land in the vicinity of the colliery was sold and the adits were sealed. In the summer of 1991, a few months after closure the railway tunnel was still accessible but it has subsequently been sealed and no further access is possible. There is no external evidence of the mine but when visited in 1991 although in the tunnel some sections of the narrow gauge track were still in place together with the cable haulage system and two upturned tubs. Beyond the adits the abandoned tunnel […]
On 18th August 1939, the Air Ministry sought approval to acquire the disused Glynrhonwy Isaf slate quarry which had closed in 1930; the quarry, near Llanberis in North Wales, was deemed suitable for the storage of 18,000 tons of bombs. It consisted of a number of deep open pits, linked together by tunnels. Following the apparent success of the design employed at Harpur Hill in Derbyshire, the air ministry decided to use the same technique at Llanberis, converting the eastern pit into an underground depot, but because of the great depth of the quarry the design was adapted to produce a structure with two floors throughout. The lower level and a conventional flat reinforced concrete ceiling which also formed the floor of the upper level which had an arched roof like that at Harpur Hill. Standard and narrow gauge railway lines entered the lower level of the depot through the original quarry access tunnels, while three electric lifts transported bombs to the upper floor. The deep pits to the west of the depot were later used for burning and dumping redundant and dismantled ordnance. Overhead protection was given by forty feet of broken slate. In response to pressure from the treasury efforts were made to cheapen and accelerate the construction of Llanberis, but unfortunately the cost cutting had disastrous consequences only six months after the depot was opened.
Hendre is situated not far from Mold in north wales. The mineral extracted from this mine up until the early 1980’s was fluorite also known as fluorspar. It comercialy had quite a few uses some of which bieng a flux for iron smelting, and flouride thats found in toothpaste. Fluorspar comes in many different colours and because of this it was also used in jewellery, most famously was the blue or purple form that is mined from the blue john caverns in Derbyshire. This mine is not the most extensive mine but the chambers are huge in this place.
A large Bath stone quarry, parts were used to store British art during WW2 and as an underground Royal Enfield factory. Part of the site is still used today by Wansdyke Security for secure storage space, other parts of the quarry are being quarried by Hanson.
‘This former Bath stone quarry was converted in to a sub-depot of the Central Ammuntions Depot. The site consists of two areas, the main storage area – districts 12 to 18 and connect via a drift, districts 19 and 20. Each storage district was divided up in to numbered storage bays, passage ways were fitted with conveyor to transport crates of ammunition around the mine.’ – http://www.nettleden.com/venues/monkton-farleigh/ Having first tried getting to this place several years ago and failing, this explore has always been one that I have had a passion to reach. This weekend we finaly made it, and I was prepared to endure pain, grovel ;), and ache like hell to get there.
A nice drain in Walsall, some excellent features, including a large metal spike, which ruined my waders and also my foot!
Farleigh Down is a tunnel connecting the Monkton Farleigh ammunition depot with the main line railway at Ashley. The tunnel is over a mile long and straight. A conveyor belt was used to move the ammunition underground between the top of the hill and the main line. The tunnel is so shallow in some places that it can be seen from across the valley as a strip of dry uncultivated grass. As part of the war effort a large stone quarry in Monkton Farleigh was converted in to an ammunition depot, the depot was situated under a hill top, a mile away and 450 feet above the old quarry stone yard sidings on main GWR line at Ashley, this was the main source of the ammunition. Sidings existed on the site since 1881 when a tramway from the quarry brought stone down the hill for shipment on the GWR. Alternative means of transporting the ammunition was required due to poor road access, this was because by road it was a 4 mile journey through winding lanes between the depot and the sidings. In November 1937 a 300 meter long platform was constructed complete with a narrow gauge tracks to carry the ammunition wagons. Plans to lay a tunnel in to the depot were laid down however the depot needed to be brought in to use so in the meantime work started on a 1.8km long aerial ropeway which carried the ammunition from to a from the sidings up the hill […]