Fan Bay Deep Shelter is a series of tunnels, an incredible underground labyrinth, constructed during World War II at behest of Churchill following the Allied evacuation from Dunkirk in May and June 1940, located on the nearby French coast at Cap Blanc Nez and Cap Gris Nez.
Fan Bay Deep Shelter has been reopened to the public for tours on 20 july, for first time, for more than 40 years.
The tunnels and gun battery were built by the Royal Engineers from the 172nd Tunnelling Company between 20 November 1940 and 28 February 1941, just 100 days.
They were constructed as accommodation for Fan Bay Battery, an artillery battery, carved out of the White Cliffs of Dover, near the Port of Dover. The gun battery was intended to harass and attack enemy shipping moving through the English Channel during the War.
The complex originally included five large chambers provided bomb-proof accommodation, with storage space for rifles, a hospital and a secure store, a generator, toilets and washrooms. Some 75ft (23m) deep, in the Kent coastline, covered an area of 3,500 sq ft (325 sq m) of interconnecting tunnels once housed up to 185 soldiers. These tunnels were reinforced with iron girders and metal sheeting.
The tunnels were forgotten for a long time. They were abandoned and decommissioned in the 1950s, before being filled in with rubble and soil and abandoned during the 1970s. Later it was rediscovered by the National Trust, who following a 18-month project and 3,000 man hours of work has completed restoration work. This has been a project that has involved more than 50 National Trust volunteers, archaeologists, mine consultants, engineers and a geologist, Mail Online, reports.
During the restoration project were found large amount of poignant reminders of the tunnel's war-time history: grafittis, names of military personnel, a portrait, inscriptions, bullets, pools coupon, and two rare First World War sound mirrors - the precursor of radar, among them.
[Via Greg Mckenzie - Flickr]