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Copyright © Gordon Jones 2007

About 1½ miles south of Masbury the lines passed through the two single line Winsor Hill Tunnels.

The ‘down’ line went through the Old Tunnel, 239 yards in length which was the original tunnel, and the ‘up’ line used the New Tunnel, 126 yards long, which opened in 1892 when the line was doubled.

Finding the tunnels needs some determination. I first tried to find the tunnels from Ham Lane, which on my large scale Ordnance Survey map was shown as passing directly over the centre of the tunnels. All I found was high hedges and dense undergrowth, so I attempted to find the tunnels from Forum Lane which is a little further south. This proved more successful – after following a path through more undergrowth for a short distance I found the track beds leading to the two tunnels. To my surprise the track beds leading to the portals were relatively clear, although trees and undergrowth had grown up on the embankments.

Both tunnels were open and light could be seen at the opposite ends. In 1968 the Old Tunnel was sealed and used by Rolls Royce to test the engines for Concorde and apparently was still sealed in the early 1970‘s . I have been unable to find out when it was reopened.

Winsor Hill New tunnel Winsor Hill Old tunnel

Winsor Hill New Tunnel. The portal at the southern end, that is the Shepton Mallet end, looking through the tunnel towards Masbury.

June 2002.

Winsor Hill Old Tunnel. This tunnel carried the ‘down’ line. This is the Shepton Mallet end looking back towards Masbury.

June 2002.

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