The Rising Sun was a Public House located adjacent to one of the most productive and prosperous quarries in Box Hill – the Clift Quarry. The Pictor family, notable Box stone quarry owners, started quarrying at this site around 1856 and the Clift Quarry entrance can still be seen at the side of the Turnpike (A4).
The entrance is surrounded by the workshops and stables buildings that were required to maintain the quarry and service the needs of the workers and the animals. A comprehensive ‘Tramway’ was built along the Turnpike in order to deliver the stone from Clift Quarry to the Great Western Railway wharf at Box. The quarry which produced very durable ‘Freestone’ closed in 1968.
The Rising Sun was located down the hill from the Clift Quarry entrance and for many years was the focal point of the local community serving the needs of the Quarrymen and the local community. The Rising Sun was probably built around 1836 when the new Brickers Barn Trust Turnpike (A4) connecting Box with Rudloe was completed. The building consisted of two storeys at the front with cellarage below with three more rooms at the back.
The Rising Sun was completely demolished by a massive gas explosion on the night of 4th December 1957. Bristol Brewery, owners of the site, as a mark of respect passed the freehold to Wiltshire Council who in turn leased the site to Box Parish Council. The property has been recently transferred to the Rising Sun Memorial Community Interest Company.
The local community and the Cotswold Wardens have cooperatively provided considerable effort to make the location safe and functional as a platform to view the By Brook Valley and beyond.
The lower part of the RSM site has been seeded with wildflowers as part of the Cotswold AONB, Glorious Cotswold Grassland project and a retaining wall which had collapsed has been re-built.
An interpretation board, funded by the Corsham Area Board (CAB) and the Cotswold Conservation Board (CCB) has recently been installed by the Cotswold Wardens. The Interpretation Board is illustrated with historic pictures and enhanced with appropriate local heritage information describing life in the Box and the By Brook valley..
The RSM site offers spectacular views across the By Brook valley towards Colerne and Bath please take walk up to Box Hill in order to enjoy this remarkable heritage site.