Copenacre is another Corsham quarry that was requisitioned for the war effort in the 1940’s. It was used as storage facility for the Royal Navy, along with other facilities at Monks Park (which are now Leafield Engineering)
By the time we got round to visiting this place, the underground facilities had be leased/purchased by the adjoining Hartham Park quarry who used the cavernous space to tip waste stone from their quarrying operations. This meant there wasn’t a great deal left of the original Copenacre facility to see, however we could still get a feel for the place.
When we visited here, it hasn’t been visited by anyone for quite sometime. We went looking purely on a snippit of information from someone that the place was accessible through one of the slope shafts. Turns out it was and we spent a couple of weekends down here dicking about.
Parts of the infrastructure are still extant in certain areas. Personnel lifts, ventilation equipment and even a large bathroom and washroom are still present. Most of the rest of the distinguishing features of the facility have however long since been destroyed by the dumping of waste stone into the quarry.
At one end of the Copenacre site they have linked it to the Hatham Park quarry next door. They have also created an underground workshop area where they maintain all the vehicles that they use in the quarry. It’s pretty nice to see it with the lights on.
At the bottom, you can see the electrically driven stone cutting equipment that they use to cut the limestone out of the quarry walls. Bit of a beast this was, having a very hefty 3 phase supply to run it and extremely sharp teeth on the saw. I’d love to know how quickly it munches through the rock.
At one end of the workshop the vehicles they were using in the quarry were parked up. Some of them had been serviced as recently as that day! A couple of them had the keys in, but we thought better than trying to drive them round. Cool thou that would have been, none of us had a clue how to actually drive any of these things.
The photos here were from visits in 2013. 3 years on in 2016, as I write this update, a lot has changed. The surface buildings on the Copenacre site have gone and the underground workings are now separate from Hartham Park quarry. Hartham Park itself has changed hands now as well. I understand access is being preserved into the Copenacre quarry as part of the development which means it will always be a target for explorers, so we may see more from here yet.