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MOD Corsham


© Crown Copyright: image reproduced with the permission of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office.

Now known by the name MOD Corsham and formerly JSU Corsham (Joint Service Unit) and RAF Rudloe Manor. A large military site which sits directly above the MOD's underground tunnel complex. During the Second World War the underground site made up part of a massive ammunitions depot and the world's largest underground factory. Later these tunnels became a government's emergency relocation site and various communication bunkers were also set up here.

Posted by Higgypop Admin last updated Wed 24 Aug 2011 at 20:14

Corsham, Wiltshire, United Kingdom

Grid reference: ST846692

No access

None - this is an active Ministry of Defence site.

Visited by 5 explorers

Photos of MOD Corsham

MOD Corsham history

Located South-East of Bath, RAF Rudloe Manor is located above the Spring and Tunnel Quarry underground tunnel complex in Corsham. The site has been the cause of many rumours and conspiracy theories over the last few decades, it has also been home to many MOD department over the years including, No. 1 and 6 Signals Units, the MOD Communication Network Headquarters, Provost and Security Services, Defence Fixed Telecommunications Systems, Defence Vetting Agency and the RAF Detachment of 1001 Signals Unit.

RAF Rudloe Manor is famous for it's underground military town, millions of pounds was spent in the build up to the second world war converting the old stone quarries into the world's largest underground factory. In Spring Quarry, the vast caverns had some 2,250,000ftsq of space, divided into many smaller chambers, this is where the Ministry of Aircraft Production built the Beaverbrook underground aircraft factory here for Bristol Aeroplane and other companies.

The other quarry under Rudloe, Tunnel Quarry formed part of the Central Ammunition Depot, an amazing labyrinth of tunnels and chambers, around one hundred feet below ground covering an area of around 200 acres in four sub-depots, which between them housed over 350,000 tons of ammunition.

RAF Rudloe Manor is sat on top of these two quarries where it still operates today under the new name JSU Corsham (Joint Support Unit) although most of the underground area is now abandoned.

In the build up to Cold War the British government began a programme to strengthen and secure their facilities within Spring Quarry to try to ensure the safety of the government. The northern area of Spring Quarry was chosen as the wartime seat of power in case of nuclear war, this area became known as the Hawthorn Central Government War Headquarters. Hawthorn was later known by such names as 'Burlington' and more recently 'Site 3'.

In the mid to late 90s a conspiracy theorists went nuts over Rudloe, they believed that RAF Ruloe Manor was the UK's own version of Area 51 and the home of UK UFO research. While RAF Rudloe Manor have now confirmed that they had previously been involved in the subject, they state that this was only in a coordinating role, the reports were simply forwarded to Sec(AS)2a, and no further action was taken. Rumours at the time also speculated that the government were storing UFOs there, working with aliens to achieve mind-altering technologies. The conspiracy theories also spread beyond just Rudloe Manor, news of construction of underground bunkers throughout the country, known as RSGs (Regional Seats of Governments) for local government officials as well as tunnels and bunkers under London had leaked out, causing a major row and a little embarrassment for the government, with MI5 called in to track down the culprits, who were known as the 'Spies for Peace' group.

As for the underground area nowadays, Spring Quarry is still secured and owned by MOD, most of the underground area is now abandoned. One area in the western side of the quarry is still in use today, it now forms part of Corsham Media Park's underground studio complex.

Tunnel Quarry is also still strictly controlled by the MOD as several areas are still classified including the Command and Control Centre (CCC) in the eastern part of the quarry, which is accessible via lift from a discreet bunker style entrance in Peel Circus. Another area know as South-West Control is also still in use at the opposite end of the quarry, this area was originally the area used as underground barracks with a canteen, recreational facilities and canteen, later it was converted it to a telephone exchange and switching room, it's current day use is unknown.

MOD Corsham has house the Global Operations Security Control Centre (GOSCC), the central communications hub for all of the UK's military since the late 90s. The facilities were re-developed in 2010 at a £690 million. A modern glass-fronted building on Westwells Road now houses GOSCC as well as the Cyber Policy Unit.

The Cyber Policy Unit is responsible for protecting the British Army's essential system and computer networks that allow servicemen to carry out their missions around the world. The crack team in Wiltshire are made up of surprisingly few technical staff but are made up of people who understand MOD systems and their vulnerabilities.

MOD Corsham, at its peak in 2011, will employ 2,200 people.

 

In the news

 

Further reading

 

 

Related venues

  • Browns Quarry

    A small stone quarry to the north of tunnel quarry in Corsham which was converted and used as the underground headquarters of No. 10 Group Fighter Command and as a ROTOR training station, the site is now abandoned.
  • Spring Quarry

    A large stone quarry which was converted by the air ministry during WWII, the quarry housed the world's largest underground factory. Later it became Royal Navy stores and part of the factory was converted in the government's emergency relocation site in the event of nuclear attack. Spring Quarry joins the south edge Tunnel Quarry, it also joins the smaller abandoned Sands Quarry.
  • Tunnel Quarry

    Tunnel Quarry was one of the four sub-depots of the Central Ammunitions Depot, parts of the converted Bath stone quarry are still security classified sites today. The quarry connects to the northern edge of Spring Quarry and also had a link to the GWR main line at the eastern portal of Brunel's Box Tunnel.
  • Primary Network Control Centre

    To the Western end of Tunnel Quarry was an area which was the proposed number 1 district as part of the ammo stores, however due to a severe geological fault this area was never developed by Royal Engineers however the air ministry did make use of it 1943 when they converted it in to South West Control, a military communications centre which opperated up until the 1990s.
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Monks Park Quarry
Neston, Wiltshire, United Kingdom

 

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needtosee   Hi, I have just been to Rudloe Manor, the old house not the office site. its all open and easy to get in to. I have not been in but do plan to go one day soon to have a look around.
February 2011
MuckFlicker   I live in Corsham and want to start exploring. I used to be in the Royal Navy and thought that Rudloe Manor would be the perfect place to start.
BUT
Can I get into trouble accessing the site?
Is it out of bounds?
Do MOD patrol here?
August 2010
Jaybooze   I can help here.I was stationed at RAF Box from Feb 1952 to Oct 1953.RAF Rudloe Manor was the administrative site for RAF Box,which was on the other side of the A4 to the Manor.It housed the Officers Mess as well.The entrance to the underground part of RAF Box was via a lift in the middle of a field,with a small Guardhouse and lift building at the top. We lived at a site about 100yds away,with... [Read more]
October 2009
Bailo   ahh so it was site 1 i visited today. Thanks for filling me in with that information. I apologize as i was confused. However site 1 is accessable and i'm sure people would love to see it.
October 2009
Higgypop Admin   RAF Rudloe Manor is now known as JSU Corsham. Rudloe "site 1" is now closed, this photo is of the entrance to "site 3" within the grounds of "site 2".

But yeah, you're right, it's not the place where the actual manor house is.
October 2009
Bailo   The featured picture isn't actually RAF Rudloe Manor. I visited it today. It is accessible and i have pictures. The grid reference provided is also incorrect. I can provide you with the correct one if you wish, and send you the correct some pictures which you may use.
October 2009