Box Freestone Quarry, Wiltshire

The Box Freestone Mine is known to have been worked since Roman times and has since been progressively enlarged to form some of the largest underground stone workings in the UK. During the construction of the Great Western Railway Box Tunnel between 1836 and 1841 that led to the great expansion in underground quarrying in Box and Corsham; in particular the sinking of shafts along the line of the tunnel across Box Hill revealed the extent and quality of the freestone beds in the area.

The eastern third of the tunnel was wholly or partially in the Bath stone beds, the contractors for this portion were William Jones Brewer, a Box quarrymaster and Thomas Lewis, a Bath builder. Stone from their part of the tunnel was raised by steam power and used elsewhere on the works.  From this point on, stone was quarried extensively by numerous companies up until World War 2, when the Military took over and converted many of the tunnels into ammunition dunps. After World War 2, some of these ammo dumps where converted into the Central Government Headquarters, Burlington. The rest of the Box Quarry was wound up in 1959 and used as the main air intake for Burlington. The Box Quarry and is now owned by Hansons, who have recently sealed the runnel complex to prevent visitors.

Modified: 23rd May 2022