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Chislehurst Caves

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Location type: Cave
Location address: United Kingdom, Bromley
Number of texts: 2
3 stars
Made by | Reference Secretlondon | © CC 3.0
Made by | Reference | © CC 3.0

Chislehurst Caves is a 22 miles (35 km) long series of tunnels in Chislehurst, in the south eastern suburbs of London. Today they are a tourist attraction and although they are called caves, they are entirely man-made and were dug and used as chalk and flint mines. The earliest mention of the mines is circa 1250 and they are last believed to have been worked in the 1830s. During the early 1900s they became a popular tourist attraction, but in the First World War, they were used as an ammunition depot associated with the Royal Arsenal at Woolwich then they were used for mushroom cultivation in the 1930s.

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Made by Dromos

These 22 miles (35 km) of tunnels at Chislehurst are not really caves. They are man-made tunnels, rooms and caverns under the south eastern suburbs of Greater London.

It’s not clear how old these tunnels are but some state more that they more than 8000 years old.

During WWI the caves served as a munitions storage house, but took on an even more important role in WWII, as a complete underground city. Housing some 15,000 inhabitants the caves were outfitted with lights, a hospital and a chapel. A baby, Rose Cavena Wakeman, was even born within the caves. In the 1960s the caves became associated with a very different period of English culture, rock and roll. David Bowie, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd all played concerts in the Chislehurst Caves.


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