Farleigh Down Tunnel, nr. Batheaston, Wiltshire

As part of a long day in Wiltshire we thought we’d pop to Farleigh Down Tunnel. The tunnel was linked to the Monkton Farleigh Central Ammunition Depot approximately 1 mile away. Ammunition would be brought to the railway sidings, loaded in to carts and sorted in the yard below ground.

The underground sorting yard at Farleigh Down Tunnel in October 1985. Photo by Nick Catford at www.subbrit.org.uk
The underground sorting yard at Farleigh Down Tunnel in October 1985. Photo by Nick Catford at www.subbrit.org.uk

The shells would then work their way on a mile-long conveyor belt, up the hillside to the CAD in Monkton Farleigh. Sadly, now-a-days the tunnel is back-filled with all sorts of junk piled up against a metal-plated brick wall.

The walk along the tunnel is interesting nonetheless. Tiring and really quite demanding on ones stamina, a sense of achievement was definitely felt by getting to the end!

Full history and additional photos can be found on Subterranea Britannica

Farleigh Down Tunnel, nr. Batheaston, Wiltshire Farleigh Down Tunnel, nr. Batheaston, Wiltshire Farleigh Down Tunnel, nr. Batheaston, Wiltshire Farleigh Down Tunnel, nr. Batheaston, Wiltshire Farleigh Down Tunnel, nr. Batheaston, Wiltshire Farleigh Down Tunnel, nr. Batheaston, Wiltshire Farleigh Down Tunnel, nr. Batheaston, Wiltshire Farleigh Down Tunnel, nr. Batheaston, Wiltshire

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116 responses to “Farleigh Down Tunnel, nr. Batheaston, Wiltshire”

  1. Charlotte says:

    Does anyone know how easy this is to get to for people who don’t have a car? Is there a bus stop or anything nearby?

  2. Graham Hobbs says:

    We filmed a grime music video here a few months back. Such a cool location and super easy to find. Loads of cool graffiti to look at. Take a good torch and you’re good to go :) The tunnel located off the main chamber is just one long stretch that just keeps going on and on TBF we didn’t go all the way to the end as everything we needed was just as you walked down the stairs from outside.

  3. Ben gray says:

    Can anyone tell me if the tunnel is blocked off or not as I’ve heard you can’t get in to it anymore.

    • Fish says:

      You can get into the tunnel, as for how far, I believe you can go all the way to the end and even climb through. I heard that quite recently.

      As you enter the complex, go down the stairs and follow the passage round and head toward the back of the room, on the LHS you will see the entrance, walk up there for a while and you will get to the end.

      Cheers

    • anon says:

      Been there today, walked for what felt like at least a km into the tunnel before returning. Don’t know whether you can get out the other side anymore… cool place fairly easy to get to (I’d suggest not crossing the tracks and walk through the fields off Ashley Road).

    • Liam Mathew McCarthy says:

      I was in there yesterday one of the big doors has been knocked off its hinges so is very accessible.

      Liam

  4. Alex says:

    Hello,

    I went here back in Summer. Didn’t know if anyone of you know, if you drive to the other end of this tunnel, you’re basically in a forest. There is a cave at the back of the forest that only the locals really know about. If you go to the back of the cave on the left from entrance there is a tiny hole you squeeze through. This then leads into a massive, unscathed underground pass that is Bath Stone with pools. Bearing in mind it’s very cold down there, the only markings on the walls are from the pencil written down there and the odd few lines where people have marked where they have been to get there way out. Awesome, just go incredibly careful not to get lost and make sure to mark your way around.

    • The Urban Explorer says:

      Alex, what you’ve found is “Muddy Hole” – one of the entrances to Browns Folly Quarry. As you rightly say, quite a vast network of passages cut in to Bath Stone with some lovely features dotted around. One thing I would recommend you don’t do is make any markings! You can find maps online, take a compass with you and there’ll be no need to deface the walls at all.

      • Alex says:

        Well thank you very much. Seems when I’ve looked since knowing what it’s called that many more people know about it than I thought. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I will be going back soon, is there anywhere else similar to this? Where are the other entrances if this is called muddy hole?
        I’ll be sure to take a compass and look online, thank you.

        • Vicki says:

          Hi Alex

          I live very locally to Box and have been doing some overground exploring to find the entrances. Have you been down there yet?

          I spoke to to the staff in the Quarrymans Arms but they said they no longer have a key to an entrance.

          Thanks!

          Vicki

    • Hi, me and my mate go to abandoned and haunted places and record it to put on YouTube, we were thinking of going to this very soon as we have just visited our old abandoned school.
      We are looking for someone who has been here before maybe and will go in with us so we don’t get lost and get the best out of the experience, bearing in mind I will be recording for a YouTube video… with my iPhone as cameras are broke.

  5. Bradley says:

    Just got out the tunnel! Was very interesting and pretty spooky! We walked the whole length of the tunnel and made it right to the end. Bit disappointed as it led straight to a brick wall and we then had to walk the whole way back we came, we was expecting to reach another side or something and walk outside, still really good though! 10/10 good tunnel, gets a bit foggy about half way through not sure why but it does! Easy access and can get some pretty cool pictures.

    • The Urban Explorer says:

      Thanks for the update, Bradley. Any photos of the end wall? It’d be good to see what condition it’s currently in.

      • Adam says:

        Hi Urban, went to this yesterday 15/10/16 and was a really good day out. End of the tunnel is a steel sheet someone has cut a part out and knocked a hole in the wall, behind the wall is just junk and unable to go any further which is a shame. You can feel a draught of wind while you’re there so access maybe doable, but it will not be a walk in the park. How can I send you a pic?

      • Austin says:

        Does anyone know the coordinates, I’m thinking about going there soon but I don’t know how to get there.

    • Freddie Nickerson says:

      Hi, do you know how I could find this? A postcode or something?

      Freddie

  6. Tom says:

    I visited this tonight. There’s a building site for railway works near the entrance but it’s all still open. I walked right up to the wall at the top. It’s a very interesting site.

  7. Jake Shep says:

    I went here with a few friends today, it is still accessible. There are a few JCB’s and some other equipment near it but I believe this is for the railway improvements that are taking place over the next few weeks on the bath line.

    The entrance to the mine is not fenced off apart from the side closest to the railway, so this is very much accessible.

    We got some really good images for our A Level photography course and met some other people who came down while we were in there.

    We only went down a little as we didn’t have much time and we didn’t have a very good source of light. Also there was quite a lot of water down there especially at the entrance to the tunnel that was inside the mine.

    Will be visiting again very soon!

  8. Tim says:

    Drove by here twice in the last two days, not sure yet exactly what’s going on, but there’s now lots of block and mesh fencing around the entrance with a number a metal cabins there too, unfortunately it does look like perhaps a back fill or demolition may be taking place. I’ll try to pop by in a work role and see if I can find out.

  9. Jack says:

    This is weird, went here yesterday and the tunnel was square not arch shaped?

  10. Charly says:

    Could I possibly have the coordinates or a road name please? I’m really interested in going but don’t know how to get there!

  11. Liam says:

    I went here yesterday and it’s still there, but the other end of the mile long tunnel is blocked of with debris against the doors.

  12. Chris says:

    Can anyone please advise if this is still accessible, after reading the comments here I can’t figure it out.
    Many thanks.

    • The Urban Explorer says:

      Pretty sure it’s accessible, Chris. If not, there’s plenty in the area for a plan B, C & D!

      • Chris says:

        Thanks for the speedy response, will be checking this out on the weekend for sure.
        Have you got any other means of contact (email, facebook), I would like to seek advice on other areas of interest around this area but can’t be too sure what’s accessible and what’s not, I live it Bristol so would be a little disappointing if we drove all that way to find it was shut. Plus could do with advice on how to get into certain sites. Appreciate your assistance.

      • Larry says:

        Interested in going to this tunnel can you give me a road name or postcode near to it so I can narrow it down. Thanks

    • Rholly says:

      Yes it is still accessible, I live round the corner from it. The end is disappointing as it is blocked but you can walk through the tunnel for about an hour.

  13. Max says:

    Well probably way too late in the day but I’m coming down to the Corsham area around the 30th September to spend a few days trying to have a look at the wonderful sites in the area

  14. Andrew Busby says:

    Is the tunnel still accessible?
    cheers.

  15. A.S. Eyles says:

    Hi there Urban Explorer,

    These tunnels were one of our fav exploring places when we were young. Many times we went in with Dad and my Sister to explore (mainly using the Main West and East entrances at Monkton Farleigh). For a few months I was proud to be on Mr McCamley’s team working to restore the tunnels which were open as a museum.

    Not like the back of my hand but I could say I knew the ins and outs of those tunnels quite well in those days. One day we walked through the tunnels from the top right down to the railway siding, quite a steep route with steps all the way.

    Sorry to hear that a private company has taken them over and blocked all access – I think such places should remain accessible as a reminder of the hardships and damage wars cause, not that “those in power” seem to care these days…

    Best wishes and thanks for the excellent website!

    A. S. Eyles

    • The Urban Explorer says:

      That’s great! And it must have been amazing to discover the tunnels at that time! About 6-7 years ago, when Monkton Farleigh was a bit more accessible I managed to see a lot of Districts 19 & 20, but annoyingly only took one (under-exposed) photo! With the Wansdyke/Restore lock-down, I doubt I’ll get that opportunity again for a long, long time sadly.

      Thanks for the comment and insight, and glad you enjoy the website.

  16. Mitch says:

    Visited here last night, torches weren’t bright enough so only got halfway along. Bit of debris lying around, and some amusing graffiti. A cool and eerie place with a few old bunker like structures around it. Going to go back this weekend, early Saturday morning to get to the end.

    • The Urban Explorer says:

      Did you manage to get to the end?

      • Mitch says:

        Haven’t been back yet mate, been doing lots of other stuff, concentrating on climbing. I got into and on the roof of Keynsham chocolate factory the other day, got an email address so I can send you over some photos?

      • sally bennett says:

        I remember this place from the 1970’s when I was around ten and lived nearby, we used to go there and hang out in groups at weekends etc. It was creepy then, we used to dare each other to go inside, and used to hide from view when a train passed for fear of being reported!

        Later during the late 80’s a commune grew there, people living in buses and trailers, that’s when the colourful graffiti appeared. I found you whilst researching the entrance location to an underground system below ‘Sally In The Woods’ where I went to an awesome party around 1980, I remember it was a hush-hush affair as at 10pm a group of us wearing wellies and heavy boots (in August) left the King’s Arms in the village late one Saturday night. We walked what seemed like miles through the woods, it was so hot and humid with no breeze, we had an escort, he was a mine rescue guy. It was well organised, our way was lit by candles in jam jars with more of the same when we went underground, somewhat magical.

        After a further hike, now deep below surface along narrow, stoney ledges and a few squeezes I remember a huge double cavern below, that’s where the party was, I’m surprised the speaker vibrations didn’t cause a roof fall! However I can’t dratted recall the way to the entrance in the woods, only what it looked like, quite annoying! That entire area is riddled with caves, mines and tunnels… I think my parents thought I spent a lot of time at a friend’s house knitting and revising!

        • The Urban Explorer says:

          Sounds like you’re definitely referring to the area near Monkton Farleigh Central Ammunition Depot (CAD). Or maybe it was Browns Quarry if the interior was cave-like? In fact, your description sounds a bit like the “Muddy Hole” entrance of Browns.

          • Sally B says:

            Thanks for replying,I remember it was known as ‘the oven door’ locally, due to it’s appearance. I spoke to an old friend yesterday who remembers the caves in Box, Quarry Woods…We plan to re-visit ‘the hot and cold caves’ soon…. Keep up the good work!

            • The Urban Explorer says:

              Well if you need maps let me know. I wouldn’t recommend going in without them!

              • Sally B says:

                Good advice… I’m not so agile anymore (Lyme Disease) so doubt I’ll venture in but such great memories for me in finding people and sites like yours, thank you for doing!

              • peter fox says:

                Hi Urban Explorer. Me and my girlfriend Karen have been down Farleigh Down Tunnel, nr. Batheaston, Wiltshire and looked at the Box tunnel. We wanted to get a map of Box freestone mine as that is next on our list to see. But we were finding it hard to get a good copy of the maps and we dont want to get lost. We would be well prepared for the trip down there. As I am a scuba diver and I always use a compass and lots of back up lights and we always tell friends where we are going. I have done a lot of caving over the years with with friends in Wales but want to explore closer to home now as I live in Bristol. So we are looking for maps of the local mines and tunnels.

                Thanks
                Pete

    • c b tiley says:

      Is the tunnel not been blocked off yet then near Box on the A4? I wish to go have a look before it’s demolished. Thanks

    • Raymond D Wood says:

      I was a national service soldier billeted at the camp near Monkton Farleigh in 1950. We worked in the mines selecting out of date ammunition for dumping in the sea. The camp was a small detachment of men from the main camp at Corsham, Sgt. Kilminster was the camp commander and a Sgt. Pitchfork was in charge of the cook house. It was an easy life and as a corporal I enjoyed every minute I was there.

  17. Jay says:

    Went here today, and the end of the tunnel is blocked off, looks like some one has tried to break the bricks down and made a hole but it’s too small to fit through

  18. James De Vile says:

    Hi – just thought you’d like to see some photos of our trip to Farleigh Down Tunnel in 2007.

    We hadn’t expected to get so far into it – once we got to the end of the tunnel, we climbed through a few holes and arrived in a huge cavernous cave complex.

    I believe that it’s now locked down and owned by Restore (previously Wansdyke Security) for secure document storage. Government secrets etc…

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/jamesdevile/sets/72157639717789726

    • The Urban Explorer says:

      Great set of photos!

      You will have been walking around Monkton Farleigh CAD. And you’re right, sadly now completely locked away and the hole at the end of Farleigh Down Tunnel is backfilled will all sorts of crap!

    • Darren says:

      Anyone going there anytime soon? I want to visit but would rather go with someone who has been before!

  19. Antony says:

    Went there today without a torch so only got to the bottom of the steps. Very creepy but such a great place to photograph, going back armed with at least a dozen torches

    • Dion says:

      Hi Anthony, I see you have recently been there. Within the next 2 weeks I’m going to visit the cathedral and whilst up there probably have a look into this as well is access still fairly straightforward? I found the shed on google earth.
      Thanks

  20. John Burrluck says:

    Just for the record Farleigh Down is not in Batheaston and Batheaston is not in Wiltshire.

    • The Urban Explorer says:

      Thanks for that. It’s a bit difficult giving the tunnel a geographic location, the entrance is *close* to Batheaston, although linked to Monkton Farleigh, which is just inside the Wiltshire border. Perhaps you could offer a suggestion as to where to pin it?

      • John Burrluck says:

        The nearest I can pin it to is Ashley, nr. Box, Wiltshire. Hope this is of help.

        • The Urban Explorer says:

          Ok right, so you don’t 100% know either? Well, I’ve just used Google Maps to see where the stretch of A4 alongside it resides and it’s saying Bathford. Plus there’s a sign right near Dick Willows which states you’re driving in to Bathford. So I’d argue it’s in Bathford. However, for now I’ll keep it listed in Wiltshire and just “nr.” Batheaston given the ambiguity. Cheers.

  21. Bryony says:

    Went here today struggled to find it but once we did it was amazing. If you find a place called the shed you can park there and the footpath is directly opposite. Take a powerful torch and be prepared for a long walk through a long dark tunnel. We will be going back again and walking further.

    • The Urban Explorer says:

      Thanks for the comment Bryony, however I’ve removed your detailed directions to the location. I think it’s easy enough to find without giving lazy people a hand out. Still, glad you had a good time. I’ve not been in years. Did you take any photos?

  22. shaun says:

    I’ve been there today. Need a better torch to go further in but open and easy to find and get to. Even took my dogs it’s that easy but not recommended as near railway line.

    But was good fun my first ever underground visit.

  23. Mike says:

    Does this place have Asbestos?

  24. chris says:

    Hi, do you know who actually owns the land there?

  25. John Smith says:

    Does anyone know if this site is still accessible?

  26. Charlie says:

    I just live round the corner from this site, it is very creepy if you do not have the right tools. There are many parties that go on in this place I know because I have been invited, it is a shame it is getting ruined through all these different raves but it makes use of the place. I have also gone up the tunnel which leads to Monkton Farleigh and it is blocked off which is a shame.

    I am trying to look for other areas to explore like this but I am unwise on locations which is why I came to this site. Does anyone know of any decent ones? I have heard about HMS Royal Arthur but I do not know where it is in Corsham!

  27. Mart says:

    This place is easy to find. Follow the road from box towards bath and when you see a fruit farm on your right it’s over to your left on the other side of the railway. There’s a path from the main road that leads over a stream and over the railway on a proper foot crossing (be careful it’s a 100mph line and trains run in both directions on both lines), go over the tracks and look left.

  28. Tumbles says:

    They sealed it up and it’s lasted about 2 weeks before someone reopened it up. Looks like a massive free party or something has gone on recently. To seal it up they rehung the iron doors just around the corner and welded plates across. Whoever has re-opened it has clearly used some pretty mean tools – I’m thinking gas axes, as they’ve cut through inch think iron by looks of it. The herras fencing is all broken and bent too. Huge hole at the end of the tunnel too, clearly that’ll go down well with the folks on the other side..

  29. Jez says:

    Hey, is this thing still here? If so, could I possibly have an address to put in to the SatNav? Thanks :)

  30. Steve says:

    What a shame. This is an awesome place and should be preserved :/

    • Couldn’t agree more Steve! However, I suppose the placement next to the fast London – Bristol line is dangerous for would-be young explorers? Plus, it’s probably thought of as a weak-point for the bosses at Wansdyke/Restore?! Who knows! Maybe they just want to knock it down for the hell of it!!

      • Jake says:

        The reason they are knocking it down is because MJ CHURCH are getting annoyed with the police contsantly calling them and asking for permission to go down there and shut down any partys that go on. It’s outrageous

  31. liam o'brien says:

    does anyone have the location for Farleigh Down Tunnel, Batheaston, Wiltshire ideally a grid reference thanks

    • Jake says:

      The best way I could describe getting there is just as you are leaving bath to enter Box you will see a welcome to Wiltshire sign, literally just before that there is a train bridge which makes you go through a little tunnel sort of thing, keep a look out on the right for a place where you can park your car and a gate and follow the dirt path up there!

  32. Dana says:

    I was wondering if there was any directions to this as i tried to find it and couldnt find it anywhere even though i asked various people!

  33. sam says:

    could please tell me where the metal building thing is. i would love to take photos of it, thanks

  34. Belle says:

    could someone tell me what to put in sat nav to find this site or a grid referance please

  35. Lauren says:

    Heyy, I also wanted to do some photography for my uni project in farleigh tunnel, however I have no idea how to get there! What would be the best thing to put into the tom tom?

  36. andy says:

    hi there im wanting to film a video at farleigh tunnel but obviousoly would like permission to do so do u have any contact details of anyone i could call or email to find out??
    or can we just go to the location and film?
    thanx for ya timr

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