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Margate Caves

Margate Caves, Northdown Road, Margate, Kent, CT9 1FG

Hidden beneath the streets of Margate lies a magical cave system, filled with colourful paintings and murals dating back to Georgian times. From shameless smugglers to ancient kings, discover the fascinating stories of this site.

Back in 1807, wealthy Margate gentleman Francis Forster made an extraordinary discovery. Beneath a pear tree in his garden was a huge underground cave system, the remains of a chalk mine that had been hidden for more than 100 years. He commissioned paintings, fashioned an ice well to store his wine collection and created a space to entertain the great and good of Margate.
Now, concealed beneath an ordinary road in the town and accessed via a twisty 15m tunnel, the Margate Caves open up to reveal a magical subterranean cavern, filled with colourful cave paintings and murals, relatively unchanged since Forster’s time. Enthusiastic volunteers are on hand to highlight the fascinating stories, murky myths and geological quirks of this mysterious site, which over the years has been used as a Victorian tourist attraction and wartime air raid shelter.
Above ground in the award-winning Visitor Centre, there is a fact-packed discovery room displaying the extraordinary history of the Caves, showing how it is entwined with Margate’s rich social and cultural past and weaving stories of drunken gentlemen, local giants, ancient Kings, shameless smugglers and enterprising vicars...
What will you discover?

Ticket needed for free entry

This event took place in September 2023 and the entry is now archived.

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Date last modified: 5th September 2023 at 10:28