Freestone Mine is known to have been worked since Roman times and has since
been progressively enlarged. Stone output reached its peak in the 19th century
and then steadily declined until in 1968 it ceased altogether. There are 3
sections to the mine: northern, central and southern. An added twist to this
mine is that there is a MOD installation in the east. The workings are very
large and most of the mine is well above head height and the only real crawling
parts are over deads and falls. Many impressive features still exist in the
mine: tools, work benches, cranes, wells, large timber supports to name a
The mine is extremely complex and route finding is very tricky.
There are over 90km of passages and it is easy to get lost if you don't pay
attention to where you are going - the best solution for exploration is to
purchase the excellent surveys made by Shepton Mallet Caving Club. A total of 3
are available covering all the regions. The surveys include a basic tour of
each region which is a good grounding in getting used to the navigation for
your own exploration.
There are continuing access issues, so please
respect all measures currently in force. Information can be obtained from local
caving clubs, Bat Products and even from the Quarry Arms pub near the
First exploration of the mine using the route on the Central
(Charlie and Mike), 25th September 2004.
Round the Central Region
A quick tour for some friends, including a
visit to the MOD parts of the mine and flash powder photography testing.
(Ambrose, Charlie, Karl, Engineer Mike, Laser Mike and Paul), 1st
Region AKA Crane County
Our second visit to the mine following the
northern region route on the survey.
(Charlie and Mike), 29th April