Friday, May 05, 2006

Pegwell "Gunpowder Cave"

(this entry written in 1991)

This is a strange cave that has been constructed entirely within the 6 feet of topsoil above the chalk cliffs of Pegwell Bay.
When it was first discovered (around 1990) it was perilously close to the cliff edge, and so likely has now completely subsided.

The entrance to the cave is via a short tunnel, the entrance of which is located in the dense undergrowth to the left of the fence of the footpath along the top of pegwell cliffs. O/S ref 357644 at the point to the left where the path ascends three steps and continues.
Access is via a short tunnel, the square entrance of which is shrouded in the undergrowth.
The entrance tunnel is crawlable, and descends steeply to a depth of approximately 2m. before opening out into a small cave. The cave however is large enough for about five people to camp in (if they so desired).
On the left corner, there is a small alter-like recess which resembles a shelf. On the main diagram, a trapdoor is drawn onm as it is almost certain that a locked trapdoor covered this square entrance during the First World War, and the wooden frame can still be seen surrounding the entrance portal. However, it seems that since 1918 the wooden trapdoor had become completely overgrown, before rotting away completely, leaving an open tunnel.
It is suspected that the cave was used as a gunpowder store in WW1, and fine black powder can still be seen lining much of the walls. It seems that since the war, it has been totally forgotten about as it has been hidden in the undergrowth, so no one thought to put a metal cover to replace the original wooden one.

Tunnel Entrance


Anonymous David said...


i am intrested in this cave. I have been along and seen the cave in question. It is still quite accesable but it is near the cliff edge.

I would like to know, did you go down there? Also how did you find out about this cave? Were they from Notes and if were where did you get this notes from?


5:02 pm  
Anonymous Paul said...

Hi Vince ,
Just been reading your article an the Ramsgate tunnels. I myself lived in Ramsgate for most of my life and
over the years have explored most of the tunnels in the early 1970s. interesting that you found the gunpowder cave. In 1973 I and a few friends were walking along the footpath to Pegwell Bay when we found a small hole that thought was a badgers set. Stupid I know but the hole was only large enough to put your head down looking with an old bike light I found that the inside was lined with timber supports to the small room that turned to the right at the bottom. But the important part is to gain access we dug out the hole but in doing so we blocked up the tunnel that runs towards Ramsgate as we wanted to use this as our den the gunpowder may be from the fireworks factory at Sandwich now gone as some of my friends had a supply of fireworks from there that we used to launch over the cliff daft I know but that was then. Anyway I remember seeing timbers and a tunnel heading towards Ramsgate.
Oh by the way the entrance to the Southwood rd tunnel is at the top of the road between buildings we found it years ago it heads towards Newington as shown on the map.

10:30 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey my name is matt and im 18.

I have been exploring for a couple of years now. i believe i have been in this tunnel before but if its the same one then the drawings are wrong.
I found the entrance last year at the top of the cliff along the cliff top walk near the three steps. There isnt really a tunnel just a small entrance that opens out into a small dome shaped room.
If this is a different tunnel then please could you tell me of its where a bouts as i would like to explore it. I will send you some pics of it soon!!


3:19 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you would like to contact me my email is

3:20 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi,id like to know were this cave is ive found one just like it but its a smuggler cave and over 15m long and ends in a room which i havnt explored yet because my torch ran out so if you want to fing out email me at thanks for reading :)

1:02 am  
Blogger Unknown said...

Paul,What is your email and matt your email is invailid? Many thanks.

12:52 pm  
Blogger TTACC admin said...

Hello there guys! Check out our ThanetTunnelAndCaveClub video of the gunpowder cave!

6:45 pm  

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