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Report - Oil Mills West, Dover - October 2016

Discussion in 'Underground Sites' started by Minor, Oct 10, 2016.

  1. Minor

    Minor 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Jul 17, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Visited with: @UrbanZ, and @Dora Grew Up.


    The Oil Mills were probably excavated in the early to mid 19th Century to excavate chalk. The chalk was then heated to between 800-1000 °C before breaking down and leaving calcium oxide (quicklime). This reacts quickly when mixed with water forming an extremly solid and versatile compound, especially beneficial in construction.

    There's speculation that the chalk excavated from this site could have been used for the construction of the nearby Harbour, although this is unsubstantiated.

    Over the years the site has had many different usages, such a storage space (I was told maybe whale oil), and a WW2 shelter to name but a few. They are cut directly into the cliff face and vary dramatically in size and length, at some points even approaching 30ft high. The size of these tunnels are absolutely awe inspiring, and extremely had to portray in images.
    There is evidence suggesting the tunnels have been altered at some time, such as the addition of blast walls.


    This was a throughly enjoyable explore. Playing jigsaw with each-others bodies due to height and strength limitations may have played a part in it too, not to mention falling down a 4ft hole and thinking I was about to decend to my death, thus almost shitting my pants!
    I have to say though, they're the most blatant entrances on what has to be one of the most used routes to and from the main port of Dover... it boggles the mind trying to comprehend the sheer volume of people who pass every day completley oblivious to it's existence, and in such contrast with a simple two second Google search.

    Upon entering the tunnels we had to sit back for a minute in admiration of the architecture and size, which is quite a sight to behold.
    I was just about to finish my entrance shots when somebody decided they would get themselves stuck up a dodgy slippery clay shaft with a very painful looking drop at the bottom, which did take up bit of time & I didn't get as many pictures as I wanted, but on the plus side it was hilarious.
    Although we were unable to gain access to a majority of the site on this visit, we we'll be back.

    Onto the pics:

    Looking back at entrance.






    Two of many ciff face entrances.

    Slippery shaft, lower section looking up.



    Thanks for looking.

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  2. Dora Grew Up

    Dora Grew Up 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Apr 5, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Great pictures Minor, this was a nice explore.

    Message me later (as I'll forget) - got some info on Lower Oil Mills.
    Minor likes this.
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