Chislehurst Caves: A Review by Freya Keable Darrick Wood Secondary School

Chislehurst caves were established as a business in 1900, where Victorians were educated about the caves’ dark history; with murder, sacrifice, and supposed haunting, if you dare to enter the caves, you can be sure to be enjoy your trip.     

The Chislehurst caves are a labyrinth of man-made tunnels, covering over 60,000 square metres and reaching depths of 30 metres below ground. The caves were first used by the Druids over 4000 years ago, which means the caves have a rich past. It is theorised that the Druids used the caves as a sacrificial chamber, due to the discovery of an alter and a sacrificial dagger. In World War 1, the caves were used as munitions storage for the Woolwich Arsenal, and also for growing mushrooms. Then in World War 2, the caves became an air raid shelter for thousands of people. At some points in the war, over 15000 people were staying in the caves; as a result the caves became an underground town, with barbers, dentists, markets and shops, making the caves the largest deep air-raid shelter outside of London. These are just a few of the interesting stories of these ancient caves.

There have also been many reported supernatural experiences, and one of the most renowned stories from the caves is that of the woman in white. In World War 2, a woman was found lying face-down in a pool of water, wearing a wedding dress. Since then, many of the caves’ visitors have said to have had a paranormal experience. As a result, there was a competition to see who could stay in the caves for twelve hours with only a box of matches, with a prize of £5. However, only one man was able to complete such a challenge; it was too terrifying experience for the average citizen.

According to tour-guides, coronavirus ‘didn’t really affect the business’, so face coverings are optional, but it is advised that you attempt to social distance. All visitors under sixteen must be accompanied by an adult aged twenty-one or older. If you are of a nervous disposition or have an acute fear of darkness, the cave tour may be unsuitable.

The caves are a great attraction, with much more to offer than I have described. For more information about the caves and their guidelines, see the official website:  

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