The Combe Down Tunnel Anomaly

The Combe Down tunnel was built in 1874, to connect Bath to the Somerset and Dorset Railway. Following the closure of the line in 1966, it remained derelict for the next 47 years, before being reopened as part of The Two Tunnels Greenway, a combined foot and cycle path.

Passing through this tunnel is a strange experience. It is perpetually cold and damp, even on the sunniest of days. It imposes this miserable climate on the approaching path, and you will likely feel cold gusts of wind before you even enter. Once you pass the threshold, natural light is quickly extinguished by the tunnel’s curve, leaving only the occasional wall-lamp to break the gloom. As you continue through wet yellow limestone, supported by intermittent sections of soot-stained engineering brick, you begin to appreciate just how long the tunnel is. At over a mile in length, it is the longest pedestrian tunnel in England.

Inside Combe Down tunnel (Credit: Artur Kozioł)

And then you will hear the music. From about a third of a mile in, wall-mounted disks emit a variety of violin screeches, as part of an abstract musical composition. You might ask yourself, “are these sounds music?”. But there’s a more pertinent question: “What are these sounds hiding?” Continue reading “The Combe Down Tunnel Anomaly”