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Report - Courts Wine Vaults Jan 2012

urbanginger

Ginger til I die
28DL Full Member
#1
Been after this one for a while now as was always intrigued as to what lied the other side of the gate in Soldiers Home arp tunnel. So we headed to Dover and as luck would have it we managed to get in.

Visited with Ian B and his boy. T'was an excellent night out.

Right bit of history, These tunnels were excavated by Dover wine merchant Stephen Court at the beginning of the 19th Century. They were dug into cliffs at the rear of the Courts' premises in Snargate Street, and along with terraced gardens and a folly shaped like Dover Castle on the cliff face, were a tourist attraction in their day. Wines were even made from the grapes and exotic fruits growing on the cliff terraces, and were stored in the vaults below. The tunnels are lined throughout and have alcoves in the walls, which presumably held the racks for wine bottles. The Courts' premises was demolished during or just before the Second World War, and the tunnels were linked to others further along the street to form a large air raid shelter (graffiti still remains in the tunnels from this time). After the war local building firm R.J Barwick moved onto the site and the caves have been known as 'Barwick's Caves' ever since.

Map of the wine vaults

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And a couple of drawings of it back in its hey day you can see the wine vaults in the background

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And another

wineshop.jpg


And on with some pictures from our visit

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And some wartime graffiti

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