Brown's Folly Mine
In the 19th century a large area around Monkton Farleigh was mined for the stone that know is known as “Bath” stone. Both the Monkton Farleigh Mine and the Brown’s Folly Mine were major suppliers. These quarries provided the stone for the construction of the Georgian buildings in Bath as as well as the facade of Buckingham Palace. Closure of the mine occured in 1930. With the threat of war looming the Ministry of Defence converted the mine into an ammunition depot, which itself shut down shortly after World War 2. The site, a Special Site of Scientific Interest, now houses a large colony of rare Greater Horseshoe Bats.
Since this was first time I visited an old abandoned stone mine, I decided to hook up with an experienced caver for safety reason. This turned out to be a good idea as Brown’s Mine is fairly big and I would probably have got a bit lost otherwise. Nevertheless, traipsing around this mine was great fun and hopefully I will make it back in the near future to explore some more. However, If you want to go and explore the mine by yourself I recommend that you take a copy of the survey and a compass with you, otherwise you might spend a bit more time in there than you planned :). It is definitely worth a trip or two though.
A much easier Bath Stone mine to navigate is the Swan Mine which is located just round the corner.