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Friday, June 01, 2007

Snargate Tunnels East, Dover

This is the Eastern end of a large tunnel complex in Snargate Street, which began as separate tunnels but were linked during WW2 for use as air raid shelters. The main part of this section is the 900ft long Cowgate Tunnel which connected Snargate Street with Durham Hill. Unfortunately, this tunnel was penetrated by a shell during WW2 which resulted in the death of 63-year old Mrs. Patience Ransley, who was sheltering inside at the time. The tunnel is blocked at the point of the shell penetration, which occured within the grounds of Cowgate Cemetery on the surface. It is however possible to go much further than the blockage shown on the plan below, but conditions are poor due to roof falls and rotten timber props. Due to revelopment of the Durham Hill area, the entrance at that end seems to have vanished. The passage going West from the main entrance tunnel passes a vent shaft and kiln, and was originally known as 'Soldiers' Home Caves', due to them being behind the old Soliders' Home. The passage continues to a metal gate which blocks access to the next set of tunnels, which are known as 'Croucher's Tunnels'.

These tunnels are privately owned, it was with the kind permission of the owners that I was allowed to visit these tunnels.

Plan of the tunnel system
Just inside the main entrance
Further in...Breached wall into Cowgate tunnel
Just inside, conditions poor already
Round the corner

Tunnel only just passable here
Further in...
Further in...

Further in...

Concrete lined section just before shell penetration (torch running out at this point)

Back in the main tunnel

Lined passage

Entrance to the kiln
Looking up
Passage continuing to Croucher's Tunnels section


Anonymous said...

hi is this a hard place to get to?

Wevsky said...

I love this section..been widely visited lately and still in un chav'd condition..the cowgate section just gets worse,still nice little explore as are the other 2 sections with permission of course

Anonymous said...

Would love to visit these tunnels as my wife and i live close to Dover but wouldn't want to tresspass!!! Could the author of this article (or anyone else who has the info) please tell us who the owners are or who to contact to gain permission to enter? Many thanks, loved the photos and article, KEEP EXPLORING!!!

Colin G said...

Hi, thank you for your comments. When I visited 6 years ago I obtained permission from the Historex shop. I've heard more recently that they do not welcome visitors, but I cannot confirm this. They were very friendly and helpful when I visited and even showed me their full set of plans of the Dover caves, which were drawn up by two members of the local fire brigade.

Anonymous said...

What a great and lovely post. Thanks

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