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Eastlays Quarry -Vertical Shaft No. 2  Eastlays Quarry - Vertical Shaft No. 2 Fan  Eastlays Quarry - Shaft  Eastlays Quarry - Slope Shaft  Eastlays Quarry - Slope Shaft 1  Eastlays Quarry - Vertical Shaft 3  Eastlays Quarry - Vertical Shaft No. 1  Eastlays Quarry - Shaft 4  Eastlays Quarry - Vertical Shaft No. 1 Fan  Eastlays Quarry - Slope Shaft 2  Eastlays Quarry - Vertical Shaft 4  Eastlays Trial Shaft  Boyd's Farm Trial Shaft 2  Boyd's Farm Trial Shaft 1  Eastlays Quarry - Air Shaft 1 

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Eastlays Quarry

Gastard, south west of Chapel Knapp, Corsham.

NGR:ST 8805 6755
WGS84:51.40685, -2.17319
Length:0 m
Depth:0 m
Altitude:77 m

Eastlays originally had a single slope shaft but an additional two were cut during the War Department conversion. There are at least four vertical air shafts. The quarried stone was transported by tramway to Park Lane and then downhill to the GWR sidings at Corsham. The stone was sent as far away as Capetown and Saffron Walden.

Alternate Names: Eastern Monks Park Quarry, Pictor Monks Quarry, Pictor's Monks, Eastlays Mine, Monks Quarry

Notes: The quarrying of Bathstone was started here in 1887 by the by Pictors Monks company produced very good building and carving stone. Quarrying stopped in about 1934 and in 1936, construction of the Central Ammunition Depot began. Eventually there were approximately 24 acres of underground workings converted by the War Department to form the huge air conditioned ammunition stores known as CAD No. 2 sub depot.

The quarry was mothballed in 1962 and bought by EMF Farming Associates in 1972 and in 1976, there were plans to repurpose the so called 'Caves of Death' into the world's largest mushroom farm. However, the plans were rejected by the local council on the grounds that the local road were wholly inadequate for the increased traffic.

In 1978, the BBC used the quarry as a filming location for an episode of 'Blakes Seven.'

Three years later in 1981, Rusepalm Developments proposed conversion of the quarry into a nuclear bunker but the initial plans were rejected by the County Council and the company collapsed with substantial debts.

In 1983, the location was again used by the BBC when 'The Fourth Arm' a TV series where SOE agents were sent to destroy a V1 flying bomb facility, in an underground bunker in Northern France was partly filmed.

The present owners, Cert Octavian, purchased the site in 1985. It was suggested that they intended to store fine wine, spirits and cigars in the ideal conditions of a lack of natural light or vibration in computer controlled conditions of a stable 13-14 °C temperature and 75-80% humidity. It has been reported that the oldest bottle laid down in the quarry is a 1791 Château Lafite-Rothschild, one of these sold recently for £140,000. On average 800,000 cases of wine are stored underground at Eastlays with up to 4,000,000 cases handled each year.

Links and Resources:

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This entry was last updated: 2020-12-07 19:03:04

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