The Wartime Tunnels of Fan Bay Deep Shelter

Beneath the White Cliffs of Dover in southern England lies a subterranean military defense network of tunnels. The Fan Bay Deep Shelter was constructed in the 1940s, carved out of the chalk cliffs in a mere 100 days, and equipped to shelter 190 men during possible bombardment from the Axis powers.

The largest shelter of its kind in the Dover area, Fan Bay Deep Shelter was decommissioned in the 1950s and left to the mercy of vandals. The site lay abandoned for some years before one of the tunnels partially collapsed following an arson attack. As a result, the abandoned military shelter was finally infilled with earth and debris during the 1970s.

For years its remains lay entombed within Dover’s famous White Cliffs, a wartime relic lost to time. But when the National Trust accidentally stumbled across the remains of Fan Bay Deep Shelter during enabling works in 2012, what was revealed was one of the deepest surviving examples of its kind from the period.

Excavating the tunnels was a monumental task, but the National Trust set a team of volunteers to work, and now the tunnels are open to the public. If you can’t get to England to see them, take a photographic tour of Fan Bay Deep Shelter at Urban Ghosts.

(Image credit: Flickr user Disco-Dan)

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