Report - - Margate Caves - April 2010 | Underground Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Margate Caves - April 2010


rebmeM LD82
Regular User
The Margate caves are situated at one end of Northdown Road in Margate, and run for a reasonable distance underneath the site of a one time vicarage and church, both of which were destroyed in WW2 - the site is now a car park. Origenally they are thought to have started out as a denehole, but have had many uses in their past including a prison with dungeons that can be seen today, a secret place of workship buring times of religious persecution, and as a hideout and storage for smugglers with passeges to and from the sea (sadly bricked up now)

The caves fell out of use at some point and got forgotten about until somewhere near the end of the 18th Century, a man named Francais Forster built a large house called Northumberland House, and around 1798 his gardener re-discovered the caves by accidently digging into them. A private entrance into the caves was made, and it was during this time that most of the murals and paintings you can see in the caves today were created. According to local history, the paintings were all done by a local artist named Brazier, who unfortunitely destroyed many interesting aspects of the caves contruction when the walls were smoothed over to create a surface for his work.

In 1914 a new entrance was cut from the cellar of the vicarage, which is the entrance that is still used today. In the making of this entrance, one of the murals (The Thanet Hunt) was destroyed in part by the new access tunnel.

The Caves were opened as a tourist attraction, but were eventually closed to the public in 2003 amid 'safety concerns' and the council has put forward plans to have them filled in and housing built on the land above on more than one occassion. Each time it's been blocked and thus they now sit there today doing nothing. (Quite honestly there's nothing unsafe about them the entrance just needs a bit of work, but of course caves don't really make councils any money, but land for housing does! :rolleyes: )

There have been proposals recently to re-open the caves as part of the Margate Regenration scheme, but as far as I know at the moment no real progress has been made on this.

Explored with Fortknox0, Obscurity, Frosty, Gizmo and Townie.








Thank for Looking!

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Lovely pictures of the caves. It has been so long since I have been in there. On this subject, you may be aware that the council has submitted a planning application to build houses on this site. As the current entrance is due to be sealed and separated from the caves, this will impact on the future opening of the caves as a tourist site. Any objections to the plans need to be in by Tuesday so please join me in protecting our Caves. Go to www.ukplanning.com and search for Application No: F/TH/10/0546 under Thanet District Council. Thank you all.

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