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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Darenth Wood Denehole, Kent

The purpose of deneholes was subject to some speculation during the 19th Century, but they are now believed to be ancient chalk mines. They are found in areas where opencast mining would not be possible, and take the basic form of a number of chambers accessed by a vertical shaft. There were many hundreds and most were filled in after the chalk was extracted, but over the years some have collapsed revealing very dangerous open shafts. This one, located in Darenth Wood near Dartford, is unusual in that it is accessable due to one of the chambers having collapsed.

This Denehole is on open land, but if visited appropriate care should be taken.

The shaft is located at the foot of this tree

Looking down the grilled shaft

Looking into the collapsed chamber and the entrance hole

Just inside

Looking into the centre of the denehole

The central shaft

Looking up, the footholes can still be made out

Looking across between two of the chambers

Graffiti dating back to 1932 can be found on the walls

Looking back to the entrance from one chamber


PeterCanDo said...

Spent many happy hours exploring the holes in Joydens Woods. Just a ways from Dartford Heath. That was back in the early 50's.

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