Monkton Farleigh Mine

Before the second world war Brown's Folly and Monkton Farleigh were the same place, both called Farleigh Down Quarry. In 1937 the Royal Engineers moved in and started the laborious task of removing the loose floor and laying it on the surface. All but the strongest pillars were removed and new ones put in their place whilst concrete was pumped around the mine to render the walls. The ceilings were strengthened where required and a new flat solid floor laid. The whole mine was then painted white. Machinery was fitted such as conveyers and fans plus many thousands of light bulbs. The site covers an area of about eighty acres so it can be understood why it took six years and over seven thousand people to transform this mine. A huge generator was installed as a back-up power supply so that the ammunition store could operate independently. This conversion is believed to have cost about seventy million pounds over fifty years ago. Monkton Farleigh Mine was sold by the M.o.D. in the seventies as it was surplus to requirements. Since it was disused, vandals and scrap merchants have raided the mine and sadly removed or destroyed most of the electrical equipment. Now, the future of the mine is yet unknown but what ever is done will cost a lot of money. Monkton Farleigh Mine lies to the east of Brown's Folly and is about six times the size. There is a tunnel connecting the 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. Before the tunnel was built an aerial ropeway was used over the surface.

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