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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Friday, August 31, 2007
Oil Mill Caves, Dover
These tunnels in Limekiln Street were most likely dug in the early to mid 19th Century to extract chalk for burning and turning into lime. The limekilns, which gave the street its name, were located nearby. It is probable that the lime and excavated chalk were used in the construction of Dover Harbour. Almost cavernous in places, the extent of these tunnels is impressive and it is not surprising they've had many uses over the years including WW2 shelters and storage. The tunnels are cut directly into the cliff, some are very short and end after a few feet, whereas others go back a few hundred feet and join up, the ceilings are up to 30ft high in places. There is much evidence of alteration over the years, including the addition of blast walls. The condition inside the majority of the tunnels is reasonable, although there are some collapses in an area in which some pallets caught fire some years ago. This area has been bricked up and has been abandoned, but other sections are lit and are still used for storage. Further up the cliff face, a large horse shoe shaped tunnel with blast walls exists, but has been damaged and is unstable due to the fire below. The Eastern most tunnel has steps down to the nearby railway tunnel, but has been sealed at the bottom.
These tunnels are on private land, it was with the kind permission of the owners, that I was allowed to visit.
This plan roughly shows the tunnels Inside one of the Eastern tunnelsFurther in
Looking back to entrance
Looking into another tunnel section Remains of a WW2 poster Looking back, the blast walls protecting the entrance
Small tunnel branching off Further in...
Breached wall into unstable sections
Looking back Arched brickwork, near a sealed entrance Looking back
Looking into another tunnel section
Turn in the passage The large tunnel, which goes behind a number of the shorter tunnels The sealed up end Inside another large tunnel, used for storage