Box Freestone Mine, Wiltshire

Box Mine in Wiltshire holds some incredible memories for me. Our first visit to Box Mine was in March 2010 and since then, we’ve been back more times than I can remember!

One of the largest Limestone Quarries in the area, Box was mined from Roman times and grown ever since. Mining stopped all together circa 1970.

Nowadays, the mine is a bat preservation area and only visited by cavers and explorers. The mine also holds a treasure in it’s crown. An area taken over by the MOD in the early 20th Century was used as a giant air intake for the underground top secret cold war complex next door….Burlington.

At the centre of Box is an area known simply as Cathedral. Nothing anyone tells you about it can ever actually prepare you for the sheer size. Trying to get its size in to perspective can really only be achieved by having a fellow member of your group standing underneath the surface opening.

The Northern section of Box Mine has several wooden cranes, some still in fantastic condition, others falling to pieces. The Southern section is the only part of Box we haven’t explored yet, I’m sure it wont be undone for long.

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170 responses to “Box Freestone Mine, Wiltshire”

  1. Mat says:

    Hi everyone, disappointing day today. Went to Jack’s entrance after watching a video on here on how to get there and found it to be completely grilled up, they’ve even bolted it into the surrounding stones and it looked very new and as we all know Back door is off limits as well. Also visited Box tunnel on the Corsham side to try and find a way into the side tunnel at the bottom of the steps. Found a hole in the fence by the bunker and squeezed though. Managed to get to the edge of the tunnel on the other side by following the fence along on the inside but heard someone opening a gate on the other side so turned back. Looks like I joined this too late as only success I’ve had is Farleigh Down tunnel!

  2. Brucey mc. Bruce says:

    Well big thanks to the assholes that have made them close off all access to the mines.

  3. Jo says:

    Hiya,
    I’ve heard on the local news that after another bunch of kids needed rescuing this week that ALL access will be shut off, I don’t know how true it is but just a heads up to you all.

    Jo

  4. Chris says:

    So now that Jacks is closed off, Backdoor looks like it’s a hard entrance now. Has the possibility of exploring this mine ended?

    I am quite gutted the actions of a few has spoilt it for the rest of us.

  5. Edd says:

    Very weird trip down here last night. Arrived at backdoor sometime around 7pm.

    * Large boulder propped up against the door from the inside.
    * Fair bit of broken glass around the entrance, not there last time.
    * Just got inside and bumped into a guy called John coming out. Hi John.

    Did our usual thing, wanted to find something, couldn’t find it, came back after a couple hours. But on leaving…

    Bumped into another bloke. This bloke claimed to be from Hanson, and that he and ( who I assume was his partner ) were there recording how many bats came out the other grill a few meters down. He gave a little lecture on how going in the mines was trespassing, that he as the mines manager was responsible for our safety, and that ‘this time it’s a friendly warning’…not sure what else he thought it could be, wouldn’t really have been prepared to wait there while someone of authority got there to give us a telling off!

    He did asked a lot of questions about how we got there etc, where the maps were from etc, of course didn’t say. He went on to say that earlier that day he’d been at Jacks fitting a new grill without a door on it, and that there were working around the others that week. Not sure how much truth there was in that as I’m sure John said that he came in through Jacks earlier that day(?) He did however tell us about two other entrances we didn’t know about, thanks!

    Odd!

    • The Urban Explorer says:

      Interesting, thanks for the update. It seems there’s been a lot of scaremongering regarding Box for a while. It wasn’t that long ago that people believed rumours that Backdoor was completely inaccessible with a new fence around it – obviously untrue.

      Can you remember what this “Mines Manager” looked like?

      As far as I’m aware, the quarry is open to cavers and the like through mutual agreement granted by Natural England. (There used to be a sign saying as such but I think this has long disappeared). The Natural England website (Designated Sites section) has plenty of info to wade through, but I believe one of the assessment criteria on the “Backdoor” is that there’s “Ability to prevent unauthorised access” – which in turn says to me that there needs to be access for “authorised” persons, so an inaccessible grille would be very controversial and probably opposed by many. Jacks also has the following condition; “accepted that access cannot be prevented to the site” – so take that how you will.

      While we’ve been able to explore this quarry for decades without any trouble the natural rise in “Explorers” and generally kids getting stuck down there, being loud & disturbing the surrounding homes means that I suppose it’s inevitable that the locals will start getting twitchy and Hanson worried about potential legal issues with people being underprepared etc.

      I suppose the best thing would be to see as much of Box as you can before any of this potentially becomes reality.

      • G S says:

        As a reply to the comments posted yesterday, Hanson have fitted a new grill to Jacks entrance, with the full consent of Natural England and the MOD. Further bat surveys are being conducted prior to additional grills and fences being erected.

        For absolute clarity no one has authorised access to Box mine, Hanson are working with Natural England and the MOD to protect this internationally important bat habitat and prevent all access to Box mine. Hanson are also working with the HM Mines inspectorate to fulfil its legal duty of care to prevent access in to the mines it owns and operates.

        Hanson would greatly appreciate everyone’s cooperation in helping to preserve Box mine as a SSSI and important bat habitat by not entering the mine.

        The Mines Manger.

        • Chris Smart says:

          There was an agreement between the Council of Southern Caving Clubs and Hanson in the past! The CSCC minutes for December 2005 state…

          “10.3 – Box Mine
          CB had attended a meeting with Hanson (the owners of the mine) and English Nature Wiltshire (the statutory body charged with protecting the bats). In what seems to have been a feat of diplomatic guile he succeeded in reversing their opening position to secure unlimited, unrestricted, but unauthorised, access for cavers and mine explorers. The currently open, commonly used, entrances will now be gated in April/May 2006. All other entrances will either be permanently filled in or fitted with bat grilles with no pedestrian access as previously indicated (see CSCC Minutes, February 2005). The gates will require an Allen/Hex key to open from the outside, but not from the inside, and will close under gravity. EN is paying for the works.”

          It would appear this agreement has been cancelled by Hanson without letting CSCC know. Grilling Jacks has now resulted in two rescues due to the piecemeal appraoach and lack of information!

        • Chris s says:

          Strange that you i.e. Hanson have never bothered before, I’ve been going down box for over 20 years, never had a problem.

          The truth is that you will never be able to keep people out of Box, just like you couldn’t keep them out of Monks Park, Copenacre etc.

          People will always find a way!

      • Wayne fox says:

        Hi, I went to Jacks on 1st July and entrance has been renewed with new grill without a door, no way in without heavy cutting equipment. Gutted

      • Brian R says:

        After yet another rescue tonight of 2 very frightened and hypothermic 25 year olds completely unprepared for Box, I would be surprised if them and any future ones are not prosecuted.

        There is no agreement for exploration, it is all private property.

    • John says:

      Edd, good to meet you yesterday, shame you didn’t make it to your intended destination! Another 3 guys followed you down as I was leaving, maybe 20 minutes or so after I left you.

      I think the Hanson guy was having you on. Jack’s was open when I visited earlier yesterday, and unless he is on very good overtime it is a bit suspicious that he would be around at 9pm!

      It would be easy to restrict access at Back Door to keep people out for good, my opinion is that some sort of access agreement is in place otherwise it would have been sealed a long time ago. The owners of Box are responsible for managing access to the mine under the Mines and Quarries Act, if they wanted to keep people out they would have gone to a lot more effort.

      Give me a shout if you are ever up in the Derbyshire area, I will give you info on some really good underground stuff up here.

      • G S says:

        Hi John
        I was out by back door undertaking some bat surveying that night, as I said on a previous post Hanson are working with Natural England to prevent unauthorised access in to Box Mine.

        Please stop going in as it is not safe and is damaging the habitat for the bats.

        Thanks Hanson Mines manager.

      • Edd says:

        Good to hear from you John,

        Bit weird to know three people came down afterwards! Didn’t hear anything at all. Appreciate your offer, my email is edward87@gmail.com, drop me a line. Likewise next time you want to come this way let me know. There are still ways in various ways in.

      • Brian R says:

        It’s now the Mines Regulations 2014, and as such access has to be restricted.
        The only reason grates are put on rather than filled in, is for bats.

  6. Brucey mc. Bruce says:

    We went here today was wicked 👌 found some old tools nice to see they were still there after all this time 😎 had no maps but followed the arrows and didnt struggle too much 👌

  7. Edd says:

    First time posting, but have used this forum to pick up advice/tips before, so many thanks to everyone for sharing their knowledge!

    After seeing a lot of talk about backdoor being a no-go recently, CCTV, big fences etc me and two others decided to take a look. No issues at all using backdoor yesterday, no cameras, no fences, and didn’t see a soul.

    Quick trip over to Cathedral and that was about it. Good day out, although might have been wiser to go on a dryer day!

    • The Urban Explorer says:

      This is great Edd, thank you! I’ve seen so many rumours and yet not one photo of the fence, CCTV etc. Did you take any photos of the area?

      However, I have heard from a reliable source that someone has been putting a large rock in front of the grate causing serious problems for anyone trying to get out!

      • Edd says:

        There is new fencing, but not near the entrance. They have put some wooden fences up along the lane where the stone wall is – going down the hill, but that’s it. We went in over the wall at the higher point on the lane and went down the steeper part of it. Did this to avoid drawing any unnecessary attention. Although the woodlands are definitely not her property, there is little point in drawing attention as it will only cause further problems for everyone else. That said, was tempted to leave that way as it was a damn steep climb back out on to the lane, but I resisted!

        The key is still the same of course, and whoever is missing a pair of blue pliers will find them just as you go in! There is a fairly large concrete block near the entrance, however it doesn’t look like it has moved for a while, and even if it was pushed up against the gate, it wouldn’t stop most adult blokes from pushing it away with the gate. Would attach a picture but don’t know how to!

        • The Urban Explorer says:

          Photos can be included in comments with HTML code if they’re online. Otherwise, please get in contact with me via e-mail and I can attach it for you.

          • Edd says:

            Sorry for such a late reply. Yes, would love to email over what I’ve got. Not the best pics in the world but more than happy to share.

            Did Browns Folly at the weekend, very enjoyable! Can’t believe I lived nearby for so long without knowing about all of this.

            The ultimate goal for me and mates is of course Burlington. Any advice welcome!

    • Ashley says:

      Hello
      Just wondering about your post to the box mine, I’ve been before in one part of the mine but wanted to enter through the back door and wondered if you could pin point me an exact location?

      Regards
      Ash

  8. Stephen says:

    I’ve grown up in Box but never dared enter the mines so seeing this discussion is very interesting!

    Concerning the Back Door being in someone’s “garden” and being on “Private Property”; I would challenge that. As far as I’m concerned, the wooded area is “public property” and is marked on the map as woodland. It is not included within the property boundaries shown.

    To see the area in question, look at http://wiltscouncil.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html

    then search for this postcode: SN13 8HQ

    Can anyone give us proper legal advice on this? If I was challenged for being on someone’s property at this point, I would request that they prove ownership rather than try to claim they own the whole country…

    • The Urban Explorer says:

      I completely agree Stephen. I’ve yet to actually see the newly installed deterrents put up by the nearby household, but I’ve heard enough to know they seem to have had enough of people traipsing through their garden. It’s really easy to walk along the wooded area, quietly and as far away from their garden as possible but it seems there’s a few lazy people who prefer a more direct route alongside their boundary.

      I don’t know the reasons, but it seems they’re playing with peoples lives too as a few times it’s been reported that a large rock has been pushed up against the grate.

      Access via the grate is granted by Natural England so perhaps it’s worth asking the designated staff member listed on their website about this?

  9. Dan says:

    Hi, really interested in visiting these mines, I have the 3 maps, and have done a quick recci trip and have found an entrance which is unblocked. Just looking for any advice/tips prior to going in there properly, if anyone can help please email me degvincent@hotmail.co.uk

    • Dave Sawyer says:

      The BackDoor is a no go now. CCTV, big six foot close boarded fence where people used to access the garden. According to John at the Quarrymans the woman that lives there will call the police if anyone still manages to get in to the garden.

      I shot a video showing how to access the quarry via Jacks if anyone doesn’t know how to get there. It is still very much accessible.

      https://youtu.be/xrlo8I4njC4

      • The Urban Explorer says:

        Thanks for the update Dave, it’s a shame it seems a few have spoilt it for the rest of us. We’ve walked alongside the garden there respectfully for years, keeping as far away from their property as possible.

        Appreciate the video. I’m sure it’ll be handy.

      • Dan says:

        That’s brilliant thanks pal!

      • Hannah kent says:

        Hey me and my partner are planing a visit here tomorrow do you know if the gate is still open we have watched your YouTube video went to Browns mine the other day had no luck finding a way in.

  10. Mike WC says:

    Folks – while this mine is a brilliant explore (& I have been doing that since the 70s) you need to understand that it is a very vulnerable environment. There are many considerations & choose your own order of importance.

    (1) Too much light, flashes, any spray paint and smoking are extremely harmful to the nationally important bat population. So are large parties sitting around and steaming, even one person stopping to point a torch and breathe near a hibernating bat is bad news for that bat’s chances of surviving winter. This (the bats, site of special scientific interest, etc) is a main reason for it all being gated in the first place and such damage if continued will lead to it being secured again.

    (2) Box Mine is actually full of social history and priceless (often faint) Victorian graffiti. Spray paint over that and it is lost forever. Old footprints and hoof-prints get trampled by unseeing visitors; mineral features caused by drips, running water, etc get thoughtlessly walked on;

    (3) The underground connections to MoD property represent a security issue that will also compel closure to all visitors, if it is not self-policed by responsible explorers.

    (4) Getting lost is easy, while route finding is very challenging (and remember …. there should be no spray-painting, it is simply vandalism …. instead, learn what the existing signs mean);

    (5) falling blocks of stone can kill – and blocks do fall (what do you think you are climbing over);

    (6) you need to understand you are trespassing and potentially liable for any damage or injury you cause, or which happens as a consequence of visit. Thus, don’t take other people with you without thinking it through, especially if they are unaware of all the above.

    Nearly finally… tell someone where you have gone, with an ETA for a safe-call. Remember that MoD Police will log your car number if you park anywhere around MoD Corsham – see this as helpful, so long as you are behaving responsibly.

  11. Glazedeyez says:

    Drove from Surrey to Box for first time the other day. Went in through an entrance called the backdoor. Was a good visit, only went as far in as the Cath but do want to go back soon to reach the burlington bunker!
    Message me on mikeypierspage@gmail.com

    If someone is up for a bigger visit, we always go prepared and I have a survay map also. If you have a problem with smokers then don’t contact me ;)

    • luke says:

      Hey dude me and a few friends are going down on the 12th. If you’re interested add me on Facebook. Luke Terry O’Brien

    • Jamie hanlon says:

      I’ve been into Burlington maintaining the CCTV a few years back. It’s pretty impressive but not quite what most people would expect. There’s lots of other parts of the mines just as interesting like the railway sidings with specially made surface made by Royal Engineers to prevent sparks when unloading bombs! Would like to go to the “outside” parts such as cathedral if anyone is going soon?

  12. Jake says:

    Hi is anyone going down next week either Wednesday 21st or Thursday 22nd September me and my friend have been down a few times but never found anything of great interest drop me a text if you are 07947183952 thanks.

  13. ES says:

    How does one gain access to these caves?
    Are they always available to the public, or only trough tours?
    Thanks

    • Ben says:

      Hello all, my names Ben I live in Bath and would love to explore Box mines properly sometime. I know where a couple of the entrances are but haven’t been inside. If anyone is interested in going sometime soon leave a reply on here and I’ll post my email address so we can arrange something. Cheers :)

  14. Urbanx says:

    I have to say this place is absolutely insane, please be prepared for it. Map and compass are a must, good torch and plenty of batteries! Water and food help also! Thanks to info and comments from this site and 28DL it was a successful explore! We’re planning another trip if people want to explore this amazing place!

    • BigBaller69 says:

      Hi. Would be keen to join you (or anyone else willing to have two of us tag along) email me on andrewtrybus@googlemail.com if interested. Went in yesterday for the first time. Tried to research before and had a “map” and a described route to get to the cathedral but these were really no good. We found the cathedral on our own marking our route with spray paint. Been in Swan mine a few weeks ago which was pretty simple Box on the other hand seemed a complete labyrinth.

      • Peter says:

        Spray paint!!!!!
        The site is a protected area.
        If you can’t navigate your way to the cathedral don’t bother going in
        It is a simple map read or follow the other marks
        I have done many trips into Box without leaving any new marks or the need for spray paint…

        • The Urban Explorer says:

          I quite agree! I missed this comment when it first came in, but yeah… please don’t be spray painting the place! Not only is Box a protected site, you could be painting over historically important markings, pencil drawings etc.

        • Bigballer69 says:

          TBH the spray paint thing never crossed my mind. But I agree it’s basicly vandalism. The place is covered in the stuff though, but two wrongs don’t make a right.

    • Xael Wish Fermor says:

      Hi Urbanx. I’m definitely up for an explore of the mine – I’ve lived in Bath for some time now and explored several smaller caves :-)

      my email is:

      alex.fermor11@bathspa.ac.uk

      let me know when you’re next intending to visit.

    • trace skelton says:

      Hi me and my son have been trying to find these caves for what seems like forever we would love to come alone with you,
      many thanks,
      Trace and Jed

  15. Bears Ball says:

    Just a heads up chaps, very soon access to Box will be removed. Best to get your visits in sooner rather than later

  16. Lis says:

    Are you still able to get in without a key? If so where are the entrances? Thanks

    • Will m says:

      I am also interested in checking out these locations. Please get in touch. I live in Corsham.

    • Ellis says:

      Hello Lis, no you do not need a key anymore to get in we only ask for you to just shut the gate when you leave and enter. If it’s your first time going down then just to warn you it’s so complex down there getting lost is very easy as it’s hard to remember all them left and right turns. I would get hold of the maps and a good compass, also go well equipped. Hope you have a good visit just leave the mine as you found it :)

      • Joel says:

        Hi Ellis… who do you speak on behalf of when you say ‘we’? I don’t mean to seem rude… it’s just I’ve just been trying for sometime to get in touch with someone I can talk to on an official level about access to Box Freestone Quarry/Mine… if you are part of an official organisation it would be great if we could chat. I’m a local outdoor instructor. My email is: self.joel6@googlemail.com

  17. James says:

    Hi
    Does anyone know where I could get a decent map for this place?
    would really like to have an explore

    James

    • The Urban Explorer says:

      You used to be able to buy them from The Quarrymans Arms pub, however if recent comments are to believed they’re no longer selling them. Give them a call first, failing that I may be able to help you.

    • Tom says:

      Have a look for ‘surveys’ as apposed to maps that’s what will give you the best results just looking at the wording that has been used in other answers they often say surveys rather than maps and that helped me find it. SMCC is a good place to start.

    • Ellis says:

      The pub no longer sell them but they are still available online :)

    • Jim says:

      Hi I have A3 size laminated copy of the original maps, northern region, southern region and central region all double sided with the routes on the back, all for sale

  18. Lander says:

    Went down a couple of weeks ago, can confirm the pub no longer lets out the key or sells the map. The landlady spoke of a boisterous visit from MOD police who had the audacity to enter their premises armed and tell them they’re not to sell the map. She also said the MOD plod were confiscating maps from people wandering up there.

    • The Urban Explorer says:

      Really!? Wow… that is somewhat surprising. I assume you had no problem or did you not go in at all?

      • Lander says:

        Yeah, all sounds quite dramatic. The fencing, CCTV camera crudely nailed to a tree, barbed wire and anti-climb paint over the backdoor entrance is courtesy of Hanson (building supplier, not boyband) it is avoidable though. Who owns or controls the mine? It seems a pretty grey area. Are the MOD within their rights? We still went down, had a good look around, and a tense stand-off hearing voices as we exited, turned out to be some young lads woefully ill-prepared for going down.

        • The Urban Explorer says:

          I assume most of the Backdoor nonsense is down to a combination of Hanson and the people who own the garden. I suspect both are fed up of, as you quite rightly commented, ill-prepared kids traipsing through their property and then having to be rescued. I believe Natural England permit the entry to the mine with a caveat that mistreating it would result in limited access. Perhaps this is what’s happening? But more than likely the aforementioned taking matters in to their own hands.

          Modern times have seen a massive increase in traffic to the mine, especially after a load of explorers shared their previously private accounts of Burlington, peaking the interest of everyone. I get e-mails about Burlington more than anything else and some of the schemes people share with me on how they’re planning to get in is quite shocking sometimes! I guess the MOD have had enough of the continuous attempts of forced entry and now that a large percentage of the underground space is in use it makes it probably even more sensitive than when it was a top secret (albeit empty) location!

          I wouldn’t like to speculate on whether the MOD police have any right at all to seize maps from people and stop them entering the mine. My initial thought is that they don’t, but if any police officer suspects you of something I’m sure they’ll exercise all the powers they have.

  19. Shey says:

    Unfortunately you can’t get the key from the pub anymore cos some idiot woman went down there, bumped her head and then sued through a “no win, no fee” company and has ruined the fun for everyone else.

  20. Ellis says:

    Hello everyone, I’ve been down to box a quite few times now I love it so much! I went down today to find that the garden where Backdoor is located, was fenced off and the owner wasn’t too happy to find me in there… Just thought I would warn people to be a little more stealth if you go through that way, and if you are new going down there and use Backdoor please respect that it’s someone’s garden.

    • Aaron says:

      Hi,

      Hoping to go down very soon is there any proper ways down in there or any other access routes thank you.

    • Greg says:

      Hey Ellis,

      I’ve spent ages now, trying to work out where any of the entrances are from what people say, aerial maps etc. I don’t want to give up, can I get some help?!

      Or anyone else reading this, that knows of an entrance! :)

      If you could drop me an e-mail on gbush1991@gmail.com, would much appreciate!

      Such a shame the pub doesn’t give keys out anymore, always one isn’t there :/

  21. Alfie says:

    I have been in Box and Browns folly a few times now, with route maps and all the shebang!
    But we have never found the Burlington door, I have been most places you have photographed and entered mine via Back door, I’m a Geocacher/Explorer by the way and some of the toughest geocaches in Uk are in these mines. Anyone wanting proper tour routes of these mines can access the routes by solving the puzzles on geocaching.com

    Do you have a map of box? or route to get to Burlington?

    Cheers Alfie

  22. Jay says:

    Hey,

    Does anyone know of tour guides for this place?
    I’ve been down a few times with freinds and know my way around ok but I’m looking to take my charity group down for a tour just to the red door and back.

  23. Ben says:

    Hi, I am really interested in going down and exploring this mine with some friends but I was just wondering about the way to get in..? Do you have to find an entrance in the local area that is not caged off? Someone said something about an entrance through the Quarryman’s Arms pub, do you just go in and they give you a map and key? If possible could you drop me an email?
    Much appreciated.

    • The Urban Explorer says:

      Hi Ben, send me an e-mail via the contact form and I’ll try and help you out.

      • Adelaide says:

        Hello.

        I have recently moved to Corsham and have heard about all these exciting places to visit.
        I spend a lot of time exploring underground, as I am from a mining community.
        Can someone give me advice on how to get there please and if I do need to make arrangements at the Quarryman’s?

      • Jozef Lackovic says:

        Hi.

        I and few of my friends are thinking to make a day out to Box Freestone Mine, Wiltshire. I’ve seen some pictures and topic regarding this abandoned mine and look interesting. Is there any chance you would have an underground map of mine and open entrances? What equipment would you suggest to take with us. Thank you very much for any info.

        Best regards Jozef

        • The Urban Explorer says:

          Hi Jozef,

          I would recommend at the very least taking: Overalls, wellies, helmet, headlamp, torch, batteries, spare batteries, maps, spare maps and it’s always a nice idea for one of your party to carry a wind-up torch too… because you never know!

          Maps are available from The Quarrymans’ Arms pub. Along with the key you’ll need to open the grate.

      • Sam Cross says:

        Hi There.
        We are two Architectural Masters Students, studying in Oxford- part of our thesis projects involve subterranean. We are looking to go into the tunnels to inspect and analyse a possible site for our design projects. If you could message regarding entrance leads and best times to enter the site that would be great. We are ideally looking to go up either tomorrow or Thursday.
        Many thanks in advance.
        Samuel Cross

        • The Urban Explorer says:

          You’ve not given me much time to help out I’m afraid. If you’re looking to go again in the future please give me at least a weeks notice and contact me via e-mail instead.

    • Xav says:

      There is an entrance through the Box woods. It can be tricky to find but do a little exploring of the woods and you will see a cave that is caged off in steel bars but someone broke the bars and now you can get into the caves no problem. I think if you look hard enough there is some maps on the internet that you can use to find the bunker.

  24. Mitch says:

    Went here last week, and I’m not gonna pretend I wasn’t absolutely terrified. I climb buildings and do all sorts of silly things, but going in this mine without a map was the stupidest thing I’ve ever done.

    We parked on a nearby street, hopped over a wall and down a bank into someone’s garden. They had a tennis court so easily viewable on Google Maps. There were four entrances, two were too dodgy, two had gates on. We went into the largest one and made our way through the mine, after about twenty minutes we starting following markings on the wall, but once we lost them it started to get a scary. Sun setting, nobody knew we were there and only half a litre of water between two.

    We managed to find another entrance after half hour of wandering around, the other gated entrance, crawled prone though a short tunnel a square foot in size, then spent fifteen minutes trying to get the gate open.

    Safe to say I’ll stick to climbing and abandoned buildings in future, I’ll leave the mines to you!

    • The Urban Explorer says:

      Jesus! Yeah… going in any underground space without the proper equipment is a silly idea! And without a map? Brave or stupid… I’ll agree with you and say stupid! Haha!

      With a map it’s a fairly simple mine to navigate and really interesting even if you just do the main route without going off the beaten track. A group of kids had to be rescued last week – for a moment there I thought it was you!

  25. Antony says:

    Went to this place today and didn’t even scratch the surface of it. Looking to go back but would love some advice on best equipment to take as my head lamp only lasted an hour. Any and all advice is greatly appreciated

  26. Hello everyone,
    I’m a ghost investigator with my lovely team Spirit Seekers. I 100% want to come and visit this!!
    If this still accessible? and can we just walk in when we want or is there security? Does anyone know who I would need to speak to to get in? etc.

    Thanks everyone! Keep exploring x

  27. Jay says:

    This is a great place to go down for a wonder, been here a few times now as I live nearby and it’s fairly easy to navigate with all the graffiti, spent six hours quite comftably down there last weekend . One thing I would advise leave spare clothes and shoes in the car! You will get covered in clay also take water as the atmosphere can get a little harsh on the throat

    • The Urban Explorer says:

      You’re right Jay, it’s a great place to explore. But I wouldn’t recommend navigating the mine using just the graffiti for direction, a lot of it is quite misleading.

      At the very minimum I’d suggest, Wellies, overalls, hard hat, torch (and back up torch), compass & set of maps. Good call with the water too.

      • Will says:

        Hello – I have been down a few times with a friend. We actually recently made this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBnZM67uz0w However we have never really got any further than the cathedral. Would love to borrow your knowledge to help us find the red door and some other of the landmarks. I am more than happy to front the cost for a beer or 2 at the The Quarrymans Arms. Thanks. Will.

    • Matthew says:

      Been in there today and didn’t see anything in the pictures is there another way in to the mine

  28. Raven says:

    Hey, been the quarry a couple of times and managed to see the cathedral. I really want to go and explore more of the quarry. If anyone wants to join me next time that would be great, as my mates who came with me last time got very claustrophobic and wont go again.
    Message me if you’re interested DRavenscraft@hotmail.com

    • Steve says:

      Hi Raven (or anyone else),
      I’d love to go and see the Box mine – is anyone going there over this Easter weekend? I’m available any day apart from Sunday. I could probably go down by myself, but would prefer someone with me :O)

      Steve

    • Cris says:

      Hi I’m in Marlborough until Tuesday, I’d love to have a sniff around if anyone is going Monday or Tuesday.

  29. Dion says:

    Hi, I am going to the quarry next month with a few mates this will be our first time on anything like this so was wondering is this place fairly straightforward for first timers we are all confined spaces trained and also a firefighter so we have some savvy about us just looking for a heads up we are going through the pub entrance thanks.

    • The Urban Explorer says:

      Should be fine, Dion. I hadn’t done anything like this before visiting either. Just keep checking the map and it’ll be easy enough. It’s quite easy to travel further than you think you have on the map though, and you will no doubt get lost at one point, especially on the way out! Good luck.

  30. Jay says:

    Hi Guys,

    Thinking about going here as I live close to it. Can’t find many details on how to get to this place. Do you still go to the Quarrymans Arms and just ask for access?

    Thanks

  31. Rhi says:

    Hey there!

    I love exploring abandoned and cool beautiful places. I have been to the Swan Mine which was literally amazing!

    If anyone is going to Box Mine, or any other cool places, and game for me (and possibly my mate) to tag along, that would be epic, as I’ve been there once but didn’t get very far as I didn’t know anything about getting a key or a map haha! :)

    Hit me up on drowningpegasus@hotmail.com

  32. scamp says:

    A few of us are off to Box Mine next month, had such a great time down there last time hope to spend 12 hours in the mine…

  33. Joel says:

    Hi,
    I’m a young local outdoors-man. I’ve taken groups of friends down into these Mines in Box quite a lot recently. We have just gone to and from the cathedral most times. But I was wondering Is there anyone out there who would be willing to take me, a somewhat experienced caver, and a good friend of mine, also an outgoing adventurous guy, to ‘The Red Door’ ? I’m moving in the new year so to get this done in the next few weeks would be great! Thanks!

    • The Urban Explorer says:

      If I lived closer I’d try and do this often as it’s an incredible place and more people should see Box. There’s a lot more to it than the impressive Cathedral.

      Hopefully someone can help you out, Joel.

    • Ben says:

      I was just wondering, as it hasn’t been particularly clear, how you get into the mine itself..?

      • Joel says:

        Hi there Ben, if you go to the Quarrymans Arms pub in Box they can provide you with a key and maps for the mine. But depending on your experience you may also want to hire a guide for your trip. I am lead to believe the pub holds some details for guides who could take you. The entrances to the mine are clearly shown on the maps however, so enjoy your exploring!

  34. Lee says:

    Went down there today for a short visit to see the cathedral with me and my a friend.

    Definitely worth visiting the pub before to get a map and a key for the backdoor entrance.

    Brilliant down there, very easy to get lost with all the small passageways but the cathedral is easy to locate and well worth a visit.
    Would be intrested in exploring more and going deeper if anyone is going soon and experienced let me know.

    Thanks.

    • elliot says:

      Hi,
      I was wondering, where is the backdoor entrance located? So how do I get there and how far is the cathedral? Also how do I get maps and a key? Do I just go to the Quarrymans Arms and get them?

      Cheers Elliot

  35. Joe says:

    Hey, it’s joe again ( see August 3rd)
    Still really interested in visiting the site if anyone experienced is willing to go and show me about,
    I can be available most weekends with some notice,
    Will buy a pint for anyone willing after,
    Joe

  36. Mike says:

    I went to the Box Quarry today with 2 friends. We used the Backdoor entrance and found our way to the Cathedral. It was really amazing and we are planning to go again soon.
    If anyone wants to join us feel free to get in contact.
    We have only been there once and managed to find our way without the map (we bought one but never used).

  37. Daniel says:

    Hi,

    I’m very interested to go mainly for field recordings, is anybody planning to go there in the near future? Please contact me.

    cheers,
    Daniel

  38. No says:

    Hi there,
    A small group of us are interested in exploring this site, 2 of us are trained in working in confined spaces, H&S for all manner of building and demolition sites etc. but are not foolhardy enough to attempt this without some sort of guide.

    Do I contact the pub direct to arrange a guide?

    Thanks in advance,
    Joe

  39. Dave Wood says:

    Hi there,

    I am touring the south west from mid April to early May. I have a huge interest in underground places and have good experience working in confined spaces underground/underwater.

    Is there anyone reliable who would be willing to show my wife and I a flavour of the mine perhaps for a few hours, all risks would be ours ?

    We are both fit, in our early 50s and probably most importantly – have common sense.

    This ‘ask’ may not be the way to go about things but my project work has led me to trust the value of local knowledge and expertise.

    Thanks

    Dave

  40. danny says:

    Could you send me the location please?

    • Joel says:

      Hi there Danny,
      If you follow the map found on this website it takes you to the Quarrymans Arms Pub. From the pub you can collect a key to the mine as well as a map (Maps are 6 Pound and key is free but you’ll need a 10 Pound note for ‘security’ so they know you’ll take the key back) The staff in the pub are very friendly and will point you in the right direction for the mines. Here is the link—– http://www.quarrymans-arms.co.uk/pub/

      Joel

  41. Paul Smyth says:

    Hi Adam,

    I have the same question as Gary, Where are the mines located as me and a friend do a little Urban decay photography and would love to explore the mines?

    Many Thanks,

    Paul Smyth

    • Joel says:

      Hi there Paul,
      If you follow the map found on this website it takes you to the Quarrymans Arms Pub. From the pub you can collect a key to the mine as well as a map (Maps are 6 Pound and key is free but you’ll need a 10 Pound note for ‘security’ so they know you’ll take the key back) The staff in the pub are very friendly and will point you in the right direction for the mines. Here is the link—– http://www.quarrymans-arms.co.uk/pub/

      Joel

  42. Tommy says:

    Hey guys, I’m looking for impressive abandoned or derelict sites where the access is legal and I don’t have to scurry over fences under the cover of darkness!

    Any info for me?
    Tommyddosage@gmail.com

    Thanks guys! Appreciated!

  43. Boc says:

    Went down Box today and made it to the “red door”. As I’d heard that the bunker behind it was no longer in use I found it odd to not only hear but feel a generator the other side working overtime. Has anyone else heard this or know what it is?

  44. Georgia says:

    Hi there,

    I was thinking about going and checking these out as I’ve heard some amazing things about them.

    Do you know where I can obtain a map from? Also, what the best entrance is.. and so forth…? I’m rather new to this but would love to go and check it out with my friends.

    Thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you.

    Georgia

    • Maps can be bought at the near by Quarrymans Arms pub (They were a fiver each the last time I checked).

      Personally I’ve only ever entered via Backdoor. But recent reports suggest that entrance is becoming a little unstable.

      Good luck & happy exploring!

    • Martin says:

      The Quarrymans Arms pub is the way to go, you can arrange a guide to take you in and around the mines from there and also purchase a map, you will hear trains passing through the Box tunnel which runs below. Google the pub and it should give you all the info you need regarding the guide etc.

  45. Matthew Lane says:

    Hi There

    i am looking for some information ob the Box freestone mines. i am trying to organise a youth charity exploring activity in there. but i need to justify that they are safe to access.

    i have emailed both B&NES and wilsthire council who both say they are not responsible for the mines.

    do you know who is responsible for there safety and would possibly have a safety report for them?

    Regards

    Matt

    • The Urban Explorer says:

      Hi Matt,

      I wouldn’t particularly fancy taking a group of ‘youths’ in Box, but each to their own! How young are the youths just out of interest?

      The quarry isn’t open to the public and access is obtained on a mutual agreement with English Heritage (or National Trust/Natural England, I can’t remember which!) that no one disturbs the roosting bat population. The site is a SSSI (Special Site of Scientific Interest).

      Contacting those will probably help you on your quest, but I suspect they’ll advise you against it.

      In my opinion, Box is generally an easy place to navigate if you’re a competent map reader and have experience in being underground for several hours. That being said, it’s also an easy place to get lost!

      • Matthew Lane says:

        Many Thanks for your swift reply.

        I have explored them with friends on many occasions. Anybody can gain access by simply obtaining the key from the quarryman’s arms pub. And most explorers access via the ‘backdoor’ passage. The group of youths would be ages between 9 – 16 yrs and adult supervisor will be 1 : 2 ratio. I have large A1 maps of the mines and would find it extremely difficult to get lost within them, given the amount or chalk arrows on the walls previous groups have marked throughout them.

        I appreciate your advice and will contact the English heritage for further enquires

        Thanks very much

        Matt

        • The Urban Explorer says:

          “Anybody can gain access by simply obtaining the key from the quarryman’s arms pub. And most explorers access via the ‘backdoor’ passage”

          Quite! I wasn’t suggesting that you need to obtain ‘actual’ permission from those bodies, but that’s the arrangement for the gate to be a gate and not a grate!

          Good luck with your tour. I wasn’t suggesting you’d get lost, but one of your group might. Let me know how you get on!

          Cheers, Adam

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