Brown's Folly Mine

Brown's Folly is a tower situated near Bathford overlooking Bath. It is on the other side of the valley from Hampton Down. The Folly was built to provide good views across the Avon. Beneath the folly in the nature reserve are the entrances to part of Farleigh Down Quarry. There are two entrances, both are crawls, the southern one being the easiest. This stone mine is- fairly big but not too complicated. The southern section consists of several long main routes; the waste stone ("deads" or "Gob") is stacked up along the sides of the passages. There are few roof falls in this mine, probably due to good strong pillars at regular intervals. Although the main adit into the quarry was blasted by the military probably to prevent access to the Monkton Farleigh Ammunition Depot connected to Brown's Folly. In the southern section there exists some stables amongst other interesting features. Further into the hillside there is an area known as Clapham Junction, so called because of the rails laid in the floor. This was the junction of several routes into the different headings of the mine. The existence of rails means that this was a relatively recent and large mine. Before rails, more usual horse-drawn wagons were pulled through the mines cutting their own grooves into the soft floor. The current floor of these mines is made from waste stone and dust squashed down by many boots and horses, The original stone floor is about six or eight feet below this If you head north from Clapham Junction following the rails you should enter a room. This is known as the prop chamber so called because this is where the larch roof props were stored, notice the smell. Even further north, are the old entrances to this part of the mine. They are now sealed up but can still be seen from the outside. South of Clapham Junction the rails stop but the passageway continues, this can be followed past some stone water troughs and on deeper into the mine.

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