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Andy

UK Oil Mills West, chalk caves, Dover (visited 07/2017)

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History

It is likely that the tunnels were originally the result of chalk being mined for lime burning in the nearby kilns during the 19th Century. The five roughly parallel tunnels are cut directly into the chalk cliff face with adjoining passages between, and have very high ceilings and evidence of originally having a second floor. The caves were used as a Bonded Store to house goods awaiting payment of customs tax and later as an air raid shelter and temporary fire station during WW2.

These tunnels have been known by a number of names over the years, including 'Finnis Hill Caves', 'Champagne Caves' and simply 'Oil Mill Cave'. The area in front of the caves (part of the Pier District) has been greatly modified with the expansion of the harbour, Finnis Hill and Limekiln Street having been demolished. The caves were used by Hammonds to store fruit, until the building of the new road in the 1990s, which left the main entrance below ground level. The only access remains from a second floor doorway.

 

Visited on a rainy, but great day with @Maniac , thanks for showing me!

 

 

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