Photographs and information about tunnels, caves, bunkers, defences, mines and other historic sites in the South of the UK and other areas. Don't forget to click the ads to keep the site going! On mobile devices, please click "View Web Version" at the bottom to see all locations!
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Sunday, December 17, 2006
These tunnels were dug to provide a public air raid shelter under the streets of Ramsgate to shelter tens of thousands of people. There were originally around 12 entrances, some of which were on the esplanade, cut directly into the cliffs, and others emerging in squares, playgrounds and parks around Ramsgate. This meant that during an air raid, people could quickly enter the tunnels via their nearest entrance. One section of the tunnels was formed of the old Scenic Railway which was a spur off the line at Dumpton Park station taking people to Ramsgate sea front, the North and South portals of the tunnel forming entrances to the shelter system. The large system of tunnels is now split into three main sections, due to collapses blocking off areas, these are the Cannon Road end, Esplanade & Scenic Railway and West Cliff.
Accessed with permission from the owner of one entrance some years ago, the entrances have now been all been sealed.
Update (June, 2011): The Ramsgate Tunnels Project, which was recently launched, has been awarded £53,000 from the Peoples' Millions, and their intention is to open these tunnels to the public. This will create a unique tourist attraction for the Thanet area, and will be of great benefit to Ramsgate. To find out more, and become a friend, please visit the project website: http://ramsgatetunnels.org/
Plan of the tunnels
Stairway up to an entrance
Looking up the chalk well
Inside the main train tunnel
Inside the Narrow Gauge spur tunnel The sealed end
Entrance to the shelter Looking along the unlined section