Denbies

 

Common Road

Denbies Fort  A line of 13 lightly-fortified mobilisation centres was built to store munitions, stores and trench-digging tools. In an emergency the Volunteers would have dug trench lines which would have been supported by the mobilisation centres or 'forts'. Until Victorian times London, unlike other European capital cities, had no defensive ring of forts. This was because it had always been assumed that the Royal Navy could adequately protect our shores. In the late 1880s doubts arose about the ability of the Navy to give this protection and General Sir Edward Hamley produced a plan whereby the capital could be protected by the London Volunteers n the event of an invasion. The plan for this defensive system was approved by Parliament in 1889 but construction was slow until the impetus from the South African War caused the buildings to be completed in 1902.  Denbies Fort was demolished in 1970 and there is nothing to be seen of the fort. It was abandoned by the government in 1905, then used as a private house, before being used as a grain store in the 1960s. The house, 'The Fort', which was the caretaker's cottage and store

 West Humble

Caves. Here there is a large medieval chalk quarry in the escarpment of the hill from where freestone chalk blocks were mined, as well as chalk for agricultural use and lime making for mortar. The mines were surveyed in 1947 and were found to extend 50 yards east to west  and 30 yards north to south The entrance was sealed in 1975 following a serious incident in which a boy had to be rescued from the 'caves', but access has been retained for bats to use the several hundred feet of underground passages. underground chalk quarry for building stone. The working appears to be a pre-c19th underground quarry for hard chalk for building. the quarry has been a gated bat reserve since the 1970s. . There has been from two to four metres vertical depth of water in the underground workings, the water evidently entering via a steeply dipping fault plane. 

 

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