Margate Caves – Margate, England - Atlas Obscura

Margate Caves

This forgotten chalk mine was reopened thanks to a massive effort from the local community.  


The Margate Caves is a subterranean wonderland located underneath an unassuming street in Margate. The caves are actually a forgotten chalk mine that was rediscovered during the 18th-century. 

The caves first opened to the public during the Victorian era as a “Smugglers Cave,” and were important to Margate’s burgeoning tourism industry. The caves changed ownership several times until they were eventually closed in 2005 due to instability. In 2011, the owner of the cave destroyed the entrance. 

Not long after the entrance was closed, members of the community formed the organization, Friends of Margate Caves. The group, along with The Margate Caves Community Education Trust, worked together to raise funds to save the caves. They were eventually reopened to the public. 

In 2019, the caves finally reopened to the public. Inside, visitors can explore around 200 years of history and marvel at the bizarre menagerie of paintings. The artwork dates between the early 1800s, to the most modern being painted around the 1980s. 

Know Before You Go

Amazing cafe- make time to have some cake! It's on the Northdown road just up from the old town, nearest parking Trinity Square Car Park. 

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October 20, 2020

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