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. In addition to be used in the construction of Bath, the stone quarried here was also used to construct the the Facade of Buckingham Palace, among others. The mine closed in 1930 and with the threat of war looming the mine was converted into an ammunition depot by the Ministery of Defence. The ammunition depot closed shortly after World War 2. The site is now a Special Site of Scientific Interest as it houses a colony of rare Greater Horseshoe Bats.
This was first time I went to see an old abandoned stone mine so I decided to hook up with an experienced caver for safety reason, which was probably a good idea as Brown’s Mine is fairly big and I would probably have got a bit lost. 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.