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Monday, June 02, 2008
Tunnel Road Caves, Reigate
The majority of the caves in Reigate were originally dug as mines for silver sand. There were many miles of caverns but a large number have been filled in to prevent the growing town collapsing into them. A section of caves which are still accessible are located East and West of Tunnel Road. The Tunnel Road Caves were used during WW2 as shelters due to their depth and close proximity to the centre of Reigate. The East caverns still have a number of items left from the war, including signs, graffiti and toilet facilities and in many places are supported by brick arches. The West tunnels remain pretty much as the miners left them: a labyrinth of unsupported caves. quite large and cavernous in places. Parts of the West Caves were used as a shooting range and other parts as wine vaults.
Both sets of tunnels are generally closed to the public, but opened by the Wealden Cave & Mine Society on certain days.
Plan of the two sets of tunnels, with the road in the middle
Tunnel Road, with the entrances to the caves on the left and right
This cave was clearly later used as a wine store Entrance to the East Caves, WW2 door still in place
Lots of old bottles near the entrance
WW2 signs in one of the tunnels
One of the main passages
Urinal still in place
Steps down to another section
Brick arch supports
Wider tunnel with more brick supports
Just inside the Western tunnels
Graffiti on one of the walls
This section has been dug recently to access another part of the caves
Caverns of the mine
Another view Wall covered in graffiti of various ages