Ridge Quarry or Western Monks Park Quarry

Ridge Quarry is situated at Neston near Corsham, it is average in size but has changed considerably since quarrying finished in 1914. When the First World War started it was requisitioned by the War Department. They cleared out the waste stone and shored up the roof and ammunition was then stored in the mine. Electric lighting and tramways were installed but little evidence remains today. There is much interesting graffiti in the storage sections and some very good pencil drawings of people in military uniforms. There were originally two slope shafts entering the mine although now only one is open. Running through the centre of the mine is a geological fault with a throw of about fifteen feet in some places. Because the quarriers followed the good stone there is a ramp in the mine connecting one level to the other. In this area water leaks through the roof and after a rainfall it is quite torrential. To the west of Ridge Quarry lies another mine called Old Ridge. This is approximately the same size as Ridge and once there was no obvious barrier between the two. When the War Department cleared out Ridge they moved the loose debris into Old Ridge, they then separated one from the other with a wall. A tramway was used to move the waste stone through Old Ridge and a horseshoe shaped passage was formed around the perimeter of the workings. To the north of the Ridge is Monks Park Quarry.

Monks Park Quarry

Formerly called Sumsion Monks, part of this mine is still worked for stone and part is used by the Royal Navy as a stores. The stone company is still called The Bath and Portland Stone Co. Ltd. now part of A.R.C. Stone is now cut and removed by machine and electric lights are used underground. It is still unpleasant working underground as a lot of dust and noise is now generated. Monks Park used to be the quarry museum before it was moved. to the other side of Corsham. Another mine still quarried by the Bath and Portland Stone Co. is Southstoke quarry at Limpley Stoke, between these two mines they produce enough stone to satisfy demand. The amount of stone produced now is a very small percentage of what it was a hundred years ago, probably because of the introduction of reconstituted stone and the costs of quarrying Bath Stone. The other half of the mine is used as a Royal Naval Stores Depot where the temperature is a constant 81 degrees Fahrenheit.

Eastlays or Monks Park Eastern

Before the Bath Stone Firms were formed in 1887 this was called Pictors Monks, again requisitioned by the War Department in 1937. Most of the stone mines were used by the War Department for stores of some kind, Eastlays was radically changed the same as Monkton Farleigh and Spring Quarry. Much waste stone was removed and stacked on the surface above the mine to prevent bombs from penetrating the chambers. There were at least two slope shafts into the storage areas and four vertical air shafts, it was air conditioned to make the atmosphere dry and suitable to store ammunition. Nowadays, the majority of it is used to store imported wine, spirits and cigars.

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