Westwood & Browns Folly Mines, Wiltshire

To be honest I’ve never been big into mine exploring but I really enjoyed these two, the snap above is from the second we visited; Browns Folly. I didn’t bother with the DSLR too much and took my compact 35mm out more often.

After sitting in the car for an age we arrived in Wiltshire, well as far as I know that’s where we were, for the whole trip me and Nick had no idea. The first quarry we visited was Westwood with about 25 others.

‘Quarrying activity increased greatly in the last quarter of the 19th century when the large underground quarries that we know today were created. This substantial quarry was owned by a quarrymaster called Godwin while another local firm became part of the Bath Stone Firms Ltd in 1887. In the 20th century quarrying continued while older underground quarries were used for other purposes. From 1934-1949 parts were used for growing mushrooms underground before operations were transferred to quarries in Bradford on Avon. The company that became Royal Enfield began using the quarries as an underground factory in 1941 for war work and continued until 1969. At the same time other parts were also used for the storage of material from national museums from the latter years of the war until 1957.’

After disappearing in the early hours to take photos everyone split up and headed into different sections, I spent 25 minutes or so getting a few and then headed back to meet the others. After the decision was made to head back to base we headed off.

Ten minutes later a long strobe light headed towards us through the mine, turns out it was Tweek and that he had been lost for a few hours, champion.

We hit the sack and woke up freezing, unbelievably freezing. Luckily some genius was on the stove and handing out bacon rolls. We clambered out, jumped in the car and headed to the nearest McDonalds, that place is a life saver. A cheeky drive around Bath brought us to Browns Folly, massive thanks to Styru for leading us to the entrance!

Big thanks to everyone involved, don’t ask me which parts of the mine is which because I couldn’t tell you or even begin to start.

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