Are there secret tunnels under the park?

volunteers pavilion

Do secret tunnels exist under Mote Park?

Having spent an hour so searching the internet, I’ve pretty-much failed to find a definitive answer. There’s certainly some conjecture and a few articles mention a sandstone mine that used to be where the park is. This discussion thread about the Volunteers Pavilion (pictured) mentions a skylight that can/could be seen in the grass, suggesting that something was/still is below ground.

This 2005 pdf document (link) from Maidstone Borough Council references various historic built structures remaining within Mote park including tunnels:

  • Mote House (Grade II*) and its outbuildings (Grade II)
  • kitchen garden walls
  • 19th century memorial Doric pavilion (Grade II),
  • entrances to underground caves or smugglers’ tunnels
  • boundary stone walls
  • boat house
  • weir on the lake
  • a number of inhabited park lodges (three of them listed as Grade II)

And this discussion thread on an urban explorers website only offers hearsay rather than concrete proof that tunnels do exist.

So, what can you add to the tunnels debate? Have you got maps or photos of the Mote Park tunnels or maybe you’ve been in the tunnels yourself? Please get in touch at hello [ at ] or leave a comment below.

image source Kindly taken by Jacqui Sadler.


  1. Alex Griffiths says:

    There are tunnels in mote park, my mates dad has been in them when he was young, we were talking about it today, so went and and had a look and got some pictures of one of the entrances.

  2. Kent Archaeology has a photo of underground quaries at mote park: Google for “Underground Ragstone Quarries in Kent” (page 415):

    In addition, I remember, as a teenager (early 90’s), finding what might have been an air-raid shelter down near the lake, between the big house and the lake (just along from the waterfall), built into the side of the hill (hidden behind lots of trees and bushes). There was a load of junk in it (tyres, prams etc…).

  3. Diane yarwood says:

    Hi in new forest with group of old girls for weekend talking re your subject of when we were young and do you remember when and yes I went down those caves with a bunch of mates when I was 11/12 yrs old 2/3times during the summer hols that was 45years ago we would like to know what they were and where they went as we girls at the time were scared as the boys used to switch off the torches and blow the candles out a great do you remember weekend we are having
    Di and friends

  4. If we have these tunnels in Maidstone surely we could restore and have another site for visistors to come to and make even more money why waste history

  5. Ian Stapley says:

    I have photos of the tunnels on my facebook page

    [EDIT]: Here they are: …great!

  6. Lloyd Ettinger says:

    I can confirm tunnels at mote park that extent for at least 1 or 2 kilometres under the shepway estate. I and 3 others played in them as small boys. You needed to be small to squeeze into the entrance. Contact me if you need more info.

  7. this website I found has great pictures and confirms the existence.

  8. I worked in Mote Park Maidstone, as a gardener about 1969. There was access to the caves/ tunnels from the Park Forman’s Lodge Cottage garden. This was near the Claygate entrance. There are many stories and rumors from local people all getting on now (like me)
    Also in the cellar of one of the Claygate cottages there are two bricked up semi circular openings either side of the cellar i.e. in and out . I have seen this.

  9. I dont know of any tunnels existing under mote park. But i do know that opposite the park entrance at the leisure centre is maidstone grammar school and in there is a disused air raid shelter with old classrooms in it. It is quite old but there is a possibility of being able to renovate it. Hope i was of any use.


  10. I am unable to post a picture but after a lot of rooting around on the internet about maidstone tunnels and mote park tunnels I found a news article about tunnels under mote park. As I said I am unable to post the picture of the locked tunnel entrance but this is the text with it.

    Many thanks to Alex Griffiths for sending in this photo of a locked entrance to (one of) the tunnel(s) underneath Mote Park. This entrance is located on the south side of the park next to Keepers Cottages.

    Not a lot of info but it gives a bit of hope to the stories about tunnels around maidstone.

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