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GORSE FARM

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Gorse Farm is a farmstead dating to before 1923 (first recorded on Ordnance Survey maps in 1923). Earlier buildings and an area of woodland, 'The Tips Coverts', located behind Gorse Farm are recorded on an earlier 1886 Ordnance Survey map. This area is traversed by the line of Box Tunnel, a two mile railway tunnel on Isambard Kingdom Brunel's Great Western Railway. An air shaft to this tunnel is located in the woodland behind the farm.
The layout of the currently disused (2011) stone-built farmhouse and the range of farm buildings which extend to the east appear to have little changed since the early 20th century. Two brick air shafts are located in front of the farm in an open field. One is directly in front of the farm buildings, and the other is a little further away, near to an asbestos-covered hut. This hut is in a poor condition and dates to the Second World War.
Below ground level, there is a complex of stone mines which was developed following the construction of Box Tunnel in the 1840s. These were requisitioned by the War Office in the 1930s and form part of the Corsham tunnel system which was used as ammunition depots, an aircraft engine factory and Cold War Central Government War Headquarters (see record 1394896).
In 2011 the land is believed to be under consideration for disposal by the Ministry of Defence.

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