Empress lost in the Chislehurst Caves

Well, for a change it was a rainy Sunday, a very rainy Sunday, but we were headed to a site deep underground, so deep that rain could not penetrate. Again, a small group started at Rykas, heading to the Chislehurst Caves.

Again, Miriam joined me on this ride, the lovely girlfriend of my cousin Karsten

This fascinating underground location of dark mysterious passageways hewn by hand from the chalk deep beneath Chislehurst is only a few miles from central London. Although called caves, they are entirely man-made mines for chalk and flint.

The earliest mention of the mines is circa 1250 AD and they are last believed to have been worked in the 1830s. During the early 1900s the caves were a popular tourist attraction. In World War I they were used as an ammunition depot associated with the Royal Arsenal at Woolwich.

During the 1930s they were used for mushroom cultivation.

Our great and entertaining guide

During World War II, in September 1940, the aerial bombardment of London began, and 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.

the chapel

bedroom, kind of

nurse in hospital

Shortly after VE Day the shelter was officially closed. Only one baby, christened Rose Cavena Wakeman, was born in the caves.

In the 1960s, the caves were used as a music venue. David Bowie, Status Quo, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd all performed there. In October 1974 a lavish media party was held there to celebrate the launch of new UK record company Swan Song Records by the band Led Zeppelin. More recently, some of the tunnels have been used by the live action role-playing game “Labyrinthe”.

These public activities at this unique venue however died the day boring bureaucrats imposted politically correct but overblown heath and safety regulation.

The caves were home to “Dr.Who and the Mutants” with Jon Pertwee in 1972, the feature film “Inseminoid” was filmed here in 1980. Parts of “Bliss”, “Neverwhere” and “Randal and Hopkirk Deceased” as well as most of the subterranean scenes in the popular BBC series “Merlin were filmed here. Numerous short films and pop videos have also been made here. In 2008, metal band Cradle of Filth filmed a music video in the caves.

Tell it to your friends: the Chislehurst Caves are really interesting

View the full set of 51 pictures in high resolution here

Art Bleiglass - View my 'Chislehurst' set on Flickriver


5 Responses to “Empress lost in the Chislehurst Caves”

  1. Also don’t forget, this was originally built by Druids. In other words, satanists. Those “chapels” are really where they’d sacrifice humans. That’s also a reason why there were 9 “chapels”. The number of Satan. This is all documented if you look deeper into the occult happenings in recent decades. Led Zep and Bowie didn’t have events here for nothing.

  2. Oh, excellent! The last time I visited Chislehurt Caves, I was about 7 years old haha
    Sounds like you had a great day! 🙂

  3. helo Harley-Davidson Road King Classic , i comment your blog , this a nice blog and perfect. Great for everyone. bulk and Hogsback Chapter content. i going to often to read and comment your website.

  4. Hi Axel,

    I missed that ride. One that looked very interesting. Great review and images with some of the info I missed out on. Thanks for taking the time.



  5. Thanks for the pics and information. That looked really cool and interesting. Still blows my mind to think of 15,000 in there and the fact it was all dug out by hand. Wow.. Thank you again. I will be sure to visit if I ever get overseas 🙂

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