Chislehurst Caves is a 22 miles (35 km) long series of tunnels in Chislehurst, in the south eastern suburbs of London.
Today they are a tourist attraction and although they are called caves, they are entirely man-made and were dug and used as chalk and flint mines. The earliest mention of the mines is circa 1250 and they are last believed to have been worked in the 1830s. During the early 1900s they became a popular tourist attraction, but in the First World War, they were used as an ammunition depot associated with the Royal Arsenal at Woolwich then they were used for mushroom cultivation in the 1930s.
During the Second World War, when the aerial bombardment of London began in September 1940, the caves were used as an air raid shelter. Within a short time, it became an underground city of some 15,000 inhabitants with electric lighting, a chapel and a hospital. Shortly after VE Day the shelter was officially closed. One baby, christened Rose Cavena Wakeman, was born in the caves.
Entrance to the caves is by guided tour only.Adult rate – 16 to 60 – £6Senior rate – over 60 – £4Child rate – 3 to 15 – £4Children under 3 are admitted free on public tours, but they may find the caves a little intimidating!
Unaccompanied children will not be admitted. A child must be accompanied by a person 21yrs or older