About 5 years ago i heard of this tunnel in a small village a couple of miles away from me. And subsequently went and had a look for myself. Sadly at the time i didn't take a camera, or do much of a report. So 5 years later decided to go back, more to play, but hey ho thought il do a report while i was at.
So a little bit of history:
Burham works were established around 1850 by Thomas Cubitt. He built the east front of Buckingham Palace, and constructed three thousand feet of the Thames Embankment. Cubitt’s success was due to his then revolutionary method of employing vast numbers of craftsmen as a team under his direct control rather than dealing with independent tradesmen. This enabled him to build a reputation for meeting deadlines on time and on budget. Cubitt set up the Burham works towards the end of his life in order to provide a guaranteed supply of good quality bricks. It was one of many works along the banks of the Medway, in which Halling cement works was the last remaining in the area. All that remains of this and many other cement works is the pits and one long tunnel roughly 750m long. There are rumours that the majority of the pits had tunnels, and that they were used as air raid shelters during the war.
This tunnel was dug to access a large chalk pit dug into the hillside below Bluebell Hill. The tunnel was hand dug, with a brick lined roof. The pits supplied chalk to APCM's Burham Cement Works which commenced making Portland cement in 1854 and ceased operation in 1938.
After the pit had closed in 1938, the pit into which the tunnel leads was used by the army during WWII as a firing range and grenade range. After the war ended, the pit lay empty. Except for some locals using it to race bikes, and posiable cars.
The small train that used to work in the quarry.
The pit today
The north portal
Into the depths
The original sleepers
The 1st blocked passage
The 2nd blocked passage, which used to be a ventilation shaft
The other ventalation shaft
And finally play time!
Sorry about amount of pictures, tried to make it interesting, i know its been done before, but i like this tunnel.