Author Topic: Brownes Folly Mine/Farleigh Down Quarry 11th November  (Read 3887 times)

Offline bagpuss

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Brownes Folly Mine/Farleigh Down Quarry 11th November
« on: November 23, 2015, 07:34:47 pm »
Attendees: Dave, Warwick, Dray, Tich, Jim, Adam (for lift only) Tim (apologies for any name mis-spellings)

Despite being a mine 'a phobe' I was tempted out to another mine trip.. I'd always been a bit intrigued by Brownes Folly or FDQ as per the trip title. I'm sure Dave will expand on why it has 2 names. I'd walked the surface area previously, and a number of years ago poked my head into some of the entrances on a walk. In my head it was only a small space, but on looking at the survey in my Old Mendip underground (there isn't much in the new one?) I was suprised at how big it actually was. Even more suprised when Dave showed me a really detailed survey which shows much more passage than the one in the book.

My trip started with a geology lesson of the local area in the van with Adam en route, I felt terrible as when we were part the way there Adam confessed he couldn't join us as his daughter was ill, thankfully the meeting point was just by Adam's house, and he was on his way home from work.  :beer2: :beer2: owed to Adam.

I will let Dave describe our route in more detail, but will post my images by way of a photo report. Apologies for the quality, I broke my tripod within minutes of being in the mine. There were some interesting formations, cave pearls, arifacts and historic graffiti. With Dave's expert guiding I felt privilaged to have such an informative visit with Jims additional comments and info. Dave bemoaned some of the crawling, Dave needs to come out caving again with us :) There was some debate over the tidying work undertaken in the mine, I was impressed by it and how well preserved everything was,  I did my bit by taking out some modern day bottles we came upon in one of the collapses. Our other new caver Warwick joined us for this trip, a good intro to getting underground & keen to return.

Herald Moth (Scoliopteryx libatrix)










Possibly Flammulina velutipes looking more like the cultivated form












Where he kept his ferrets..










The stables


Offline nice but damp

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Re: Brownes Folly Mine/Farleigh Down Quarry 11th November
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2015, 09:41:19 pm »
Great Pics Bagpuss.........

It's good to see some different angles of the mine. Nice trip in a fascinating place  :thumbsup:

Tim

Offline ChrisJC

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Re: Brownes Folly Mine/Farleigh Down Quarry 11th November
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2015, 09:50:29 am »
Question - was navigation a problem?, or did you find your way around (in conjunction with the map) OK?

Chris.
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Offline Duncan S

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Re: Brownes Folly Mine/Farleigh Down Quarry 11th November
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2015, 10:09:29 am »
Superb pics!
I've got to get myself down there before too long :)

Offline mrdetail

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Re: Brownes Folly Mine/Farleigh Down Quarry 11th November
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2015, 11:24:57 am »
Me too! as couldn't make this trip  :thumbsdown:

Superb pics!
I've got to get myself down there before too long :)
go easy

Offline bagpuss

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Re: Brownes Folly Mine/Farleigh Down Quarry 11th November
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2015, 01:35:16 pm »
Jon/Duncan - I'd be up for a revisit if you fancy planning something.

Chris - Dave was guiding us so is probably best placed to answer, but we found our way round without issue.

Offline Ad W

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Re: Brownes Folly Mine/Farleigh Down Quarry 11th November
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2015, 02:27:03 pm »
No worries about the lift Ruth.  It was a shame to miss out on the trip though, so I'm keen for a visit at some point too.

Offline dave_the_cave

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Re: Brownes Folly Mine/Farleigh Down Quarry 11th November
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2015, 12:44:36 am »
Question - was navigation a problem?, or did you find your way around (in conjunction with the map) OK?

Chris.

We did a whistle stop tour of the quarry - We entered through Muddy hole, onto clapham junction, down to pit prop
chamber a quick look at the dodgy passage leading to ammocase valley - back to pit prop chamber onto the square well and the ferret cage. We then followed railway passage to the end and then the cavers took charge and we crawled through a window
to a passage which took us to clapham passage. We then had a detour down to the southern stables before backtracking
and taking the R&S route off main passage to cross to front passage. We then followed it around to muddy hole again.

Navigation was no more of a problem than usual as most of the time I was not paying attention.

I used the SMCC survey as an aid throughout the trip, but here is a scribblemaps version of our route overlaid
on the MCRA/BEC survey

Click on the image to go to the interactive map - scribble maps is quite fun (but the overlay registration is not to be taken seriously). I marked Muddy hole with a link to the mcra web page.

Offline Ad W

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Re: Brownes Folly Mine/Farleigh Down Quarry 11th November
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2015, 12:11:33 am »
I suppose this is my first real post so it warrants a little introduction.  I've been lurking for some time since starting to get back into caving last spring, and I always enjoy reading the contributions of others to the forum, so I figured I'd better contribute a little myself.  I'm Adam by the way, and I cave mostly on Mendip with the BaDCC.

Having missed the club trip to the quarry last week and the visit to Clearwell Caves this week I was getting pretty keen to get underground by last night.  One text from Duncan asking about caving was all it took to prompt me to suggest a trip to Farley Down Quarry.

I live in West Wilts so it's really local, but for some reason I've never visited.  Time to change that!

We met for 7:00 and soon set off, full of vim and vigour, armed with a copy of the SMCC survey but only a verbal description of how to find the Muddy Hole.  In retrospect I see that it was silly of me not to have checked out the MCRA website to narrow down the location of the entrance, but I figured that Jim (the supplier of the directions) and I were on similar wavelengths.  Sadly this turned out not to be the case.

Not far off an hour and half later I was just about ready to give it up as a lost cause and head to the pub.  It's not that I don't enjoy hours wading through knee deep ground cover with occasional still leafy chin height stinging nettles, it's just not how I'd anticipated spending my evening!  We decided to look along the strip of ground between the southern boundary of the wood and the public footpath as a final possibility.   Hoorah!  An entrance! and a rather obvious entrance at that!

I really enjoyed having a look round.  The absence of litter and masses of modern spray graffiti stands the site markedly apart from the other Bathstone quarries that I've visited.  The obligatory visits were made to Clapham Junction, Pit Prop Chamber, the Square Well, Ferret Run and the Southern Stables. 

The water/sediment in the square well looked very blue, which surprised me.  Does anyone know the cause of the colouration?  The well is fed by water entering through the roof of the workings adjacent to the well, and it flows across what appeared to be a pavement of stone masonry built to collect the water and channel it to the chamber/trough.  There are a few small gours on this pavement but only the well chamber displays the colour.  I did wonder if someone has added something to the water either intentionally or unintentionally.  Spent carbide perhaps?

Other highlights were the in-situ rail around Clapham Junction, and oddly I really liked the series of 3 interconnected water troughs on Clapham Passage.  Built so that the they would fill from water ingress through the roof/off the pillar and then overflow from the first into the other two successively lower troughs.  Functional and visually appealing.

Oddest spot was the 19th Century toilet which period graffiti proclaimed "The Sh!t House".  This area was complete with some interesting dark discolouration to the deads, presumably mostly residual organics/carbon from long degraded "deposits".

Anyhow due to the time lost earlier in the evening our time underground was all too brief so almost before we new it, it was time to relocate to the bar of the Muddy Duck for a swift post-caving pint of Butcombe.

Overall an enjoyable evening and I'm looking forward to making a return trip.

Adam



   

Offline Brains

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Re: Brownes Folly Mine/Farleigh Down Quarry 11th November
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2015, 12:43:30 am »
The discolouration is due to the fairly recent addition of bue/grey paint to the water as a deliberate act, presumably of vandalism. Idealy the well needs emptying and cleaning out - probably got a load of rocks in it as well by now. It should be quite clear, and is about 5 foot deep when not backfilled...

Offline Ad W

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Re: Brownes Folly Mine/Farleigh Down Quarry 11th November
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2015, 01:18:04 am »
That's a real shame.  Like the morons that have carved their initials into the tops of the southernmost wall of the stables. They couldn't have been Chavs that stumbled over it,  as it's a relatively low crawl over some 15m of deads to reach it, and right at the southern end of the workings.  I guess they deliberately sought it out,  but then why deface it?  Just mindless.

Offline Brains

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Re: Brownes Folly Mine/Farleigh Down Quarry 11th November
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2015, 01:43:34 pm »
Some info on the name(s) for the quarry:

"The original name of the quarry was "Farly Down". As it grew in size it became "Monkton Farleigh" with several different companies working areas of it. Possibly to make a distinction from the converted areas now used by Restore Ltd, David Pollard has taken to calling the parts we can access "Farly Down Quarry". This makes sense to me as it was never called "Browns Folly" until explorers adopted that from the Tower up above on surface"

David Pollard is a very knowledgeable local who I believe is in the process of helping to writing a book.
Vandalism at this site is an ongoing problem with some elements feeling they have the right to foul the place in every way possible, while others try to keep the place litter and graf free, as well as restoring the stacked deads pulled down by chavs

Offline dave_the_cave

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Re: Brownes Folly Mine/Farleigh Down Quarry 11th November
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2015, 05:07:53 pm »
As moderator - I removed the last three posts from this thread because they were about the recent vandalism in the quarry
and were not concerned with the trip.