Lorne House & Thomas the Tank Engine

On the 12th May 1945 a little book called The Three Railway Engines was published. It was written by Reverend Wilbert Vere Awdry, an Anglican cleric and railway enthusiast and was based on tales he’d made up for his son Christopher as the boy recovered from measles.   His second book  introduced the little steam train Thomas the Tank Engine. In May 2020 we celebrate 75 years of this series of books which have captured children’s hearts worldwide.

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A Secret Underground City

Beneath the pretty cotswolds countryside between Box and Corsham lies a secret city. 37 metres below ground, this vast 35 acre complex is more than a kilometre in length and boasts 60 miles of roads.  Blast-proof and completely self-sufficient, with the ability to house up to 4,000 people in complete isolation from the outside world for up to three months, the site was designed to be the operational headquarters for the British Government, in the event of a  nuclear war or conflict with the Soviet Union.Read More

Box Walks & Local Points of Interest

For walkers, ramblers or those who simply enjoy the opportunity for a short walk and some fresh air, Box offers some wonderful walking options. We are in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, on the Macmillan Way and have both our own Box Heritage Trail and a wealth of public rights of way, bridle paths and footpaths to explore.

We have maps for guests covering the 5 mile Box Heritage Trail as well as guides for shorter walks which we are always pleased to pass on. Box has a wealth of interesting history and sights, including England’s only tennis ball factory, Peter Gabriel’s Real World Music Studios, the famous Box Tunnel and its slightly lesser known sibling, Middlehill Tunnel, old mills and farms recorded in the Domesday Book, quarries and woodland as well as the stunning scenery of the Bybrook valley.

Quarry Woods still bear the entrances to the quarries where the stone was mined for building Box Tunnel and for the construction industry. On hot summer days the cool air coming from the shafts below ground creates very welcome natural air conditioning.-Read More

A History of Lorne House & its Occupants


Lorne House and its semi-detached neighbouring property, Glenavon, were built in 1876 by a branch of the quarry owning Pictor family, whose more affluent relatives built Fogleigh House and Rudloe Park Hotel. Originally both Lorne House and Glenavon were much smaller properties, just two-up and two-down, forming only the fronts of the present properties.

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