Ridge Quarry & RAF Bomb Store

May 2008

Ridge was originally a Bath Stone quarry, but in 1915 was purchased by the War Department to store TNT for use during the first World War. After the War it was realised that the threat from aerial attack was so great that bombs were going to have to be stored underground, and in 1930 Ridge was short listed as a potential site.  After some clearing, strengthening and levelling work, Ridge received its first RAF bombs in late 1936. Two years later, concrete reinforcing of the original stone pillars began, but this was soon abandoned as too expensive. As nuclear weapons came into service, so the need for conventional high explosive bombs decreased, and so the need for Ridge as bomb store diminished. In 1955 Ridge Quarry was abandoned.

On Saturday 17th May, Max, Ben and I got up super early, (5am!), for a major day of underground exploration in Wiltshire. Our first stop was Ridge Quarry.


The small gap to the boy's left is how we got in.


Number two slope shaft leading down into the darkness. The bombs would have been lowered down in winch-hauled trucks.


Looking back up the slope shaft.


The crumbling ceiling at the bottom of the slope shaft.


Helpfully pointing the wrong way!


The bottom of the number one slope shaft.


On the wall at the bottom of the slope shaft.


The only remaining bit of track, half way up number one slope shaft.


Max examines some nice calcium deposits.


The top of number one slope shaft, blocked with the remains of the long demolished surface buildings.


A very rotten wooden support.



Part 2