Margate Caves

Margate Caves were discovered in the latter half of the 18th century, a gentleman named Francis Forster built a large red-brick house on the site . In 1798 his gardener, whilst digging behind the building, discovered "the caves" by having the ground give way beneath him.

The caves were opened as a tourist attraction and went through various transformations, including wartime air raid shelters, until being closed in 2004 due to Health and Safety concerns.

High Peak Geotechnical Ltd first got involved in 2010, when the owner of the nearby Shell Grotto, expressed a desire to re-open the caves.
Together with Graham Daws Associates, a geotechnical appraisal was undertaken of the caves and a scheme was put forward.
In 2018 following successful lottery funding works to re-open the caves began.
 

Breem construction built a visitor centre over the caves

 

Our works consisted of clearing the caves of accumulated rubbish, scaling loose rock from the walls and roof, shotcrete application to loose fissures, rock bolting and meshing of loose areas, replacement of handrails, construction of new steps, creation of a secondary access to satisfy mines regulations and installation of lighting.

The caves are now once again a major tourist attraction in Margate.

1st visit 2011

1st visit 2011

Margate caves 2018

Margate caves 2018

Clearing the entrance

Clearing the entrance

Digging down to the entrance passage

Digging down to the entrance passage

Bronze Age crouch burial discovered while clearing site

Bronze Age crouch burial discovered while clearing site

Timbering the entrance passage

Timbering the entrance passage

Margate Caves

Margate Caves

Margate Caves

Margate Caves

Drilling for rockbolts

Drilling for rockbolts

Bolting and netting of instability

Bolting and netting of instability

Gunite

Gunite

Margate Caves

Margate Caves

Surveying for second egress

Surveying for second egress

Driving second egress tunnel

Driving second egress tunnel

Second egress tunnel

Second egress tunnel

New staircase

New staircase

Surface excavation

Surface excavation

Timber shoring

Timber shoring

Finished second entrance

Finished second entrance

Handrails

Handrails

Handrails

Handrails

Finished caves

Finished caves

Finished caves

Finished caves

HIGH PEAK

GEOTECHNICAL LTD