Teffont Quarry (RAF Chilmark North), Chilmark, Wiltshire

Astonishingly it’s been almost a decade since I first explored the underground workings of RAF Chilmark in 2010.

Back then, opposite the RAF Chilmark southern site & topside bunkers was the International School for Security and Explosives Education (ISSEE). A company which specialises in explosives & counter-terrorism, we gave the area an extremely wide berth! Not wanting to draw attention to ourselves we kept to the south side of the Chilmark site.

Narrow-Gauge track at Chilmark Quarry
The alluring narrow-gauge track as captured by Google Streetview in 2009

In early 2015 the ISSEE headquarters relocated near Oxford and the Chilmark North site has become a mish-mash of different businesses. A chance arose to explore the previously tricky northern site, and see where the narrow-gauge track which was previously so tempting went! Being stealthy was still the order of the day even though I’m sure we would have walked straight in the front door. Always the best option.

Traipsing across the Wiltshire countryside we dropped inside the Chilmark North site from a built-up wooded area and found ourselves right in front of the mine doors. The entrance portal and immediate passages thereafter were doused in artefacts. Narrow-gauge track, switch points, signage, some impressive overhead steelwork and huge cutting machinery.

The entrance portal to Teffont Quarry
Teffont Quarry, RAF Chilmark North, Wiltshire

Salisbury council have been trying to sell off different parts of the former RAF Chilmark site since it officially closed in 1995. The area is also home to a large bat population in the surrounding caves, one of Europe’s most important bat sites apparently! A ten year lease was given to Chilmark Quarries Ltd to extract stone which expired in 2006, however I assume subsequent extensions were permitted as we found references to 2009 inside the quarry.

The quarry has been subject to many name changes, Teffont, Linda Barrow, Barrow & Chilmark North. Historically speaking, Teffont Quarry seems to be correct and ‘Linda Barrow Mine’ it’s last incarnation before closing.

Quite a small mine, Teffont is comprised of new and old sections. The markings and stone extraction methods clearly different in each part of the quarry. The whole quarry felt untouched, it’s not often you get that feeling doing this hobby. There’s nearly always some evidence of previous visitors (apart from the original workers, obviously!).

It wasn’t a good photo day for me. My photos were annoyingly under-exposed and poorly composed. It had been a while since I’d used my camera in pitch-black conditions!

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31 responses to “Teffont Quarry (RAF Chilmark North), Chilmark, Wiltshire”

  1. Olga says:

    Hello, can someone help with the right location, please? Really want to visit, but afraid to find a wrong location. Thank You.

  2. Chalkie says:

    Was there earlier [* timelines removed *] around Chilmark. Managed to find the signs with the caves entrances. All caves have now got concrete structures round with steel bar covering all entrances so no entrances into any of the cave structures.

    However other side of the road was a different story! Easy access into the site. 20+ buildings to explore. Found an old abandoned Nissan Micra, search and rescue support van, plant room, what looked to be space for mining staff. Rooms with books and sofas with an old TV it made for a real good explore given the disappointment of the caves being sealed.

    In one room the track lead to fresh brickwork which I’m guessing was an old shaft of sorts.

    The most interesting part was finding an old crawling space (barely fit a body in) which was between all these buildings. I crawled in for about 100 metres however the space did not open up so I didn’t dare go further. Found a section with just about enough room to change direction and come back. I wonder how far it went? It went in the direction of the sealed caves and I didn’t find an end just more and more crawling space.

    I have the whole lot on a snap story which I can take stills from. Was in this general area. Absolute belter of an evening and an explore! Once again thanks to this site for providing enough to get us pointed in the right direction!

    • The Urban Explorer says:

      Sounds like you were in the old ISSEE headquarters to me. The caves have had grills on for years, the underground workings you see in the report photos are from the quarrys, nothing to do with the caves, so looks like you’ve got some more exploring to do in this area!

      Glad to see people out & about exploring and getting muddy. Stay safe.

      • Chalkie says:

        We do plan to visit again soon so I’ll bare this in mind. Would love to get underground more and not in a tunnel I can barely squeeze into. Can’t believe this place has more to offer after already giving out loads. Thanks for the heads up! Can you give me any details as to where cave entrances are? Or point me in the right directions please UE?

      • Chalkie says:

        Went back again and found the large farm buildings with the fire engine inside. Did the other site also with the shaft and what looks like old mess hut and power supply room. Crossed over the road and entered where we did the other night. Walked into the clearing and came to the entrance with the big iron gate. Found more rebar but the door had been popped off and was held in place by about 8 D-locks. Thanks from your comments we worked out that we were in the south site. Plan is to find the northern entrances and hope for some better luck

      • Rhys says:

        Hi Urban explorer, is there anyway you could send me location of the place thanks
        Rhys

    • Oli says:

      Do you know if this is still accessible?
      If so could you help with directions?

  3. Chicken says:

    Don’t park near the site, some American noncey security guard filmed both us and our car. Also one part of the site is now active, with a van parked at most times, with motion detector cameras on the gates.

  4. User95 says:

    Guys I can confirm that this place is still very accessible! I was there recently with a friend and it’s open, very hard to get in the tunnel where the train tracks run but doable.

    Very overgrown and a bit messy but great fun and an awesome experience exploring.

  5. Addaway says:

    Hell, looks pretty cool is there any way you can get down there still as would like to have an explore?

  6. Bradlee jenkins says:

    Hi could you send me some more details and I would like to explore further underground at that site

  7. Another interesting journey, thank you. As you say, it might not be the best shots you’ve ever took but it’s still good to have a look at life underground from a few years ago!

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