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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

St. Margaret's Bay Cliff Complex

The beach at St Margaret's was seen as a possible landing place for an invasion fleet, so was well defended during the war and old photographs show barbed wire entanglements and a pillbox and this tunnel system still remains. It was also a crucial point as the powerful gun batteries were located close by, and would have been a target for sabotage. The tunnel appears to have been dug to allow guns to be placed in rooms cut into the cliff face, to cover the beach. The original entrance to this tunnel, located at the end of the esplanade, is now sealed and the only access is a rope up to the machine gun post in the cliff face. Inside, conditions are good and the majority of the tunnel is lined with tin on the roof and supported by bricks. Parts of the tunnel which are unlined still appear to be sound, although steps lead up to a second room, which has been lost due to erosion. There are a number of other caves and tunnels close by, on the Eastern side of the bay, but this is by far the most extensive.

Although these tunnels are open, entry is difficult and is only recommended with the appropriate equipment.

Entrance into machine gun post, it's a bit of a climb!

Inside the tunnel, looking towards main corridor
Main corridor

Looking left towards steps

Looking up steps, towards opening in cliff face
Looking back to main entrance
Looking down main corridor
Turn in main corridor

Further in...

Looking into unlined section

Sealed entrance (from outside)


Anonymous said...

how do i get hold of a map showing the entrances to these tunnels, maybe colin can phone jon r for me. thanks. dave.

Anonymous said...


We were down St Marg's today for our scuba diving club meet and i noticed the gun post up in the cliffs.

I only noticed the rope after the tide went out. Got up the rope and had look in the entrance but didnt have a torch on me so didnt want to venture too far inside.

How far does the tunnel go?

Do you go exploring them/others as i wouldnt mind coming along.

Thanks Rob

Anonymous said...

did you realise there are offshoot tunnels behind the brickstructure support?

Anonymous said...

Why so much tummelling, what is teh history?

Anonymous said...

What a great place.We have some great pictures.Did not like the pigeons tho.

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Unknown said...

Is it safe to go in these caves with children

wayinfront said...

The 'tin' roof linings were sections of corrugated iron, likely taken from stocks of curved roof lining used for domestic Andersen shelters. The corrugated iron was galvanised, hence the fact of the linings' remarkably good condition, unrusted, 80 years later.

Anonymous said...

Thank for for this amazing information and photos... intriguing