Swan Mine, known as Kingsdown Quarry, was a Bath stone quarry that began operations by the late 18th century and closed in 1932. The mine was never profitable enough for trolley roads to be laid. Hence the stone had to be removed by horse drawn carts or wagons. Their hoof prints and cart ruts can still be seen today. Kingsdown Quarry was the last mine to emply horse drawn carts by a margin of more than thirty years. Parts of the mine were worked by up to three mining companies at the same time, the quarrymasters sharing the main haul passage in and out of the mine.
The mine is easy and great fun to get around. Unlike Brown’s Folly it does not require much in terms of navigational skills, at least as long as you stay on the main corridors. Nevertheless, this being the first mine I visited by myself, I carried a survey of the mine with me (to steady my nerves if nothing else). There are plenty of things to see along the way. Apart from the horse and rail tracks, you can see old miners tools and the original scribblings of the miners on the wall. Modern graffiti is thankfully nearly completely absent. The main highlight however, is undoubtedly, an in situ crane which is still intact.
Once you are out you can warm up in the pub opposite with a beer or a cup of coffee.