Saturday, September 27, 2008

Weird and Wonderful Travels!

I love traveling and exploring new areas, whether they are beautiful or frightening, just around the corner or across the globe. But let's face it, unless you're a millionaire there's no way you have enough cash to go everywhere you want to, so I travel from home, it doesn't stop me from exploring and enjoying the weird and wonderful locations that exist in this beautiful planet of ours.

Today I'm going to the Chislehurst Caves in the UK. Come with me, I've even packed some snacks for us.


Chislehurst Caves are a labyrinth of dark mysterious passageways which have been hewn by hand from the chalk, deep beneath Chislehurst. There are over 20 miles of caverns and passageways, dug over a period of 8000 years. The vast complex of caves are a maze of ancient mines originally carved out in the search for flint and chalk. They are divided into three main sections, Saxon, Druid and Roman. Each section was later connected by digging joining passages.

The last time the mines were known to have been worked was around the 1830's when the Saxon section was used by a flintmaker and limeburner.

During the 1914 World War the mines became part of Woolwich Arsenal, used as an ammunitions depot. A narrow gauge railway was installed to aid the transport through the passages.

The war and the constant bombings over London turned the caves into a massive air raid shelter within easy reach from London and its main suburbs.

Image credit: Warren Williams

The Chapel in the caves - credit: medwaylines

A WWII church - credit: medwaylines

The hospital during the WWII

History of Hauntings

The caves have long had a reputation for being haunted. There is even a 'haunted pool'. There used to be a 'challenge' with a reward for anyone who could spend the night there alone.

I wouldn't even spend an hour there alone, nevermind a night LOL
But apparently there are so many stories about paranormal activity and ghosts and weird stuff going on. The caves are 22 miles long and it would take you about 10 1/2 hours to get through them all.

I can't even imagine being down there, as interesting and fascinating as they poor claustrophobia would have a field day LOL

Haunted Chamber - It may look like an enlarged puddle to you, but this was where a woman murdered in the caves supposedly rises through a mist from the floor of the puddle, sorry, 'pool'.

And if that wasn't spooky enough, the chamber is supposedly unique amongst the 22 miles of passageway because it has no echo.

While watching Most Haunted last night, they actually went to the caves and the historian told all these stories of people getting lost in the caves, of a man literally dying of fear and found naked near the door, of there being 7 sacrificial altars six of which were used for animals and one for humans....a hunchback man that haunts the caves and all these other interesting but I doubt true facts. LOL

Let's face it, whether true or not I think that it would be interesting to take a trip to Chislehurst, if not just for the caves but the town itself.
Image credit: Telegraph UK

Image credit: Lisa Haffey
Image credit: beerintheevening

*sigh* I do wish I lived closer.


Michelle said...

Thanks for taking us along ,I do love your travel posts ;-) I wish I lived closer to although Rob wouldn't like it if I was shopping all the time.LOL.

Heidi @ GGIP said...

It was a fun trip!

Sarah said...

Enjoyed my tour!

You might enjoy here:

They take you on a video tour on the homepage.

Hugs and love

Sarah x

cindy said...

Thanks for tour...there are just too many beautiful places on earth to see (and not enough time or money to do it!)

Mari said...

I would love to visit here. Thanks for the computer tour!

Susanne said...

Very interesting. I'm with you. Claustrophobia would hit me big time. And just knowing how many miles of tunnels there are would make this mama very nervous. I will go sit by that lovely lake or pond though, and wait for you all to finish up in the tunnels. :v)

The Bookworm said...

Aha! Chislehurst Caves! I have been down there. Dressed as ... um ... my memory fails me ... something Tolkienish ;). A friend of mine used to be into fantasy role play, and a large role play group he was involved with used to use the Caves. I went along with him a few times. It was actually very fun, if a bit strange, with all these people running round with foam weapons and bizarre costumes. Also a bit scary not knowing what might be lurking around the next corner. We are talking nearly twenty years ago. I think I am now past the stage of playing strange games underground dressed as an elf.

The Caves are not as claustrophobic as they sound. The tunnels - at least the ones I went in - are very spacious. I can get claustrophobic, but didn't have any problem there. I had no idea it was supposed to be haunted, though!

The Bookworm said...

They still do it! Here.

ivoryspring said...

Hello Sandra,

Thanks for being a wonderful tour guide! This is a most interesting tou! :)

~TAMY 3 Sides of Crazy~ said...

Sandra thanks for the travel trip today, it was great!

Cheri said...

First- I love your new look. Autumn is my favorite time of year so it's right up my alley.

That cave looks amazing- I love the church they dug out. Very cool!

mommaof3 said...

very kewl I love do stuff like that too

Lulu said...

what a nice place...

Christina said...

What a pretty place. I am not sure the haunted caves wouldn't scare me to death, but I do love haunted places, at least from my couch, and on the tv.

Kathy said...

Great travel guide! Lovely photos. I think it would be fascinating to go here and the cemetery is very interesting.

crystal said...

I love the travel posts! What a darling town. The caves...not so darling. eeeek.

Best quote in comments (from bookworm):

"I think I am now past the stage of playing strange games underground dressed as an elf. "


Tina Leigh said...

Wow, very did you ever hear of such. I dont think I would spend much longer than tour time in the caves but I would spend a night in that cute little town.

autumnesf said...

I don't think these were the caves we went into in England but they were pretty much just the same. Since the rock was mostly white it wasn't as spooky or oppressive as I expected it to be and was rather a fun tour.

Breanne said...

Wow - that was great and interesting.

Great blog.

Jemma said...

Hi Sandra!!
I've lived here in Chislehurst all my life and have been reading your post with great interest- I had no idea our village was so famous!! Haha!
The caves aren't as bad as they sound, although the tour guides do all they can to make the experience as scary as possible- I've been there a number of times, (well it is only down the road!) and still manage to jump. Did you know that the Rolling Stones, Jimmi Hendrix, The Beatles etc. also performed in the caves? (This, of course, being my only claim to fame!)
If you do ever come here, look into the history of our pubs too! Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria visited us here and we've got a few famous faces in the area too...
Again, thank you for such a lovely post!!
All the best,