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East Sussex Military Newhaven 

HMS Forward in Newhaven, East Sussex

Been visiting here on and off for a few years, a fantastic set of tunnels hidden away under South Heighton, such a shame that this is not a museum, as they played a vital role during the 2nd world war.

In 1941, 130 miners dug 550 yards of tunnels through rock chalk and seams of hard flint 20m below South Heighton, north of Newhaven, in just 17 weeks. The purpose of the project was to house 100 or so naval personnel who monitored the sea off the Sussex coast midway between the strategic ports of Dover and Portsmouth.

Staff co-ordinated and controlled shipping movements and plotted enemy ship movements in the English Channel using radar. The tunnels had a small opening at the base of the hill but the main entrance was at the top of the hill in the Guinness Trust Holiday Home that was built in 1938 but requisitioned by the Royal Navy after Dunkirk in 1940.

The building and tunnels were named HMS Forward. After the war, the MOD sold the lot to a property developer which led to many houses being constructed over the tunnel.

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  • Apit

    This looks amazing! I’m surprised it’s not boarded up. Going to give it ago.

    • RC Slope Soaring

      Its welded shut, big plate over the entrance gate. No way in …

  • Victor

    Is this place still available to get into?

    • RC Slope Soaring

      No, big metal plate welded over the entrance gate. Has been like that for at least 3 months.