© 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
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
The small market town of Corsham has recently become the home to a new high-tech part of the MOD's global defence strategy.
The military site which sits directly on top of a network of secret tunnels in Corsham has been dubbed Britain's Area 51 by UFO investigators since the mid-90s.
Can I get into trouble accessing the site?
Is it out of bounds?
Do MOD patrol here?
But yeah, you're right, it's not the place where the actual manor house is.
New to Nettleden?
Join our gang of urban explorers, get started by creating your free account...
- The secret sights of London
Discover abandoned and long forgotten secret bunkers, hideouts and derelict building in London.
- Secret underground bunkers in the UK
Discover some of the UK government's best kept secrets. From a little known hidden nuclear bunker Wiltshire to the huge active secret bunker right under Central London.
- Royal Observer Corps posts
ROC was given the responsibility of reporting nuclear attacks from hundreds bunkers across UK.
- Corsham quarries
A list of the quarries in and around Corsham.
- Disused London Underground stations
A list of disused stations on the London Underground.
- Box Tunnel
A two mile long tunnel, built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel through Box Hill. Next to the eastern entrance of the tunnel you can see the remains of a branch from the main London to Bristol railway line which lead into the hillside into the Corsham Ammunitions Depot and terminated at a half-mile long underground railway station which was used during World War II.