[imgr=ratfyn]Diagram of the location of Ratfyn Junction[/img] The Larkhill
Military Light Railway left the Amesbury
and Bulford branch of the London
and South Western Railway at Ratfyn Junction which, I understand, was to the North East of the A345 / A303 junction at the Countess Roundabout:
Map locator - Ratfyn
I have been very interested (in a curious sort of way) in the water tower at Druid's Lodge (See here
) over the many years I have driven past it from time to time, and a page with some pictures and a request for further information has brought some fascinating emails, to the Larkhill
Military Light Railway ... and to a gentleman who in turn is curious about my house in Melksham
. It also brought me to the other end of the military railway near Amesbury
... which this page is about.
[imgl=lmr_trackbed_2]Ratfyn today[/img] This image is looking down towards the section of railway between Amesbury Station and Ratfyn. Notices indicating that there is NO footpath precluded me from exploring further (and also, it must be admitted, a lack of time)
... Yes it’s a fair way from Druid’s Lodge, but the whole line was the longest military railway in Wiltshire. To find the site of Ratfyn Junction, from the railway crossing at Countess Road (A345) there is a straight embankment that goes east towards the river. A low viaduct carried the LMLR over the river and the junction was about 150 meters east of the river where there is now the road to the sewage treatment works. Between the junction and the river were two engine sheds and a water tower. ...
At Ratfyn junction the LMLR joined the London and South Western Railway branch line from Grateley to Bulford barracks via Amesbury. You can see most of the route of this line fairly clearly on Google Earth where the old railway track bed effectively forms the north east boundary of Amesbury. This railway crossed the A303 at what is now the London Road, where Amesbury station used to be. The line was closed before the by-pass was built and the whole area around the new road was re-profiled at this time.
The LMLR crossed the A303 a few metres east of the A360 Longbarrow roundabout, a short distance north of Druids Lodge. Incidentally, a branch line from this area went east to Stonehenge Airfield where there were huge hangers within a few hundred metres of the monument itself!
View from A345 alnong trackbed towards Ratfyn
From the A345 towards Larkhill, the old trackbed is a bridleway