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An mysterious underground cave network has been found underneath a Primark after a sinkhole appeared in the car park.
A branch of the clothing giant in Kent reopened on Monday after several months of emergency repairs.
And many in Thanet have been shopping in the Primark – which first opened in 2011 – with absolutely no idea that secret war tunnels potentially over a hundred years old remained untouched and hidden beneath the clothes rails.
Just a few feet below Primark’s bargain boots and cut price clothing lies a network of old war tunnels, KentLive reports.
It is believed the subsidence in May could have been related to these old army practice tunnels, which were thought to be used during both World Wars for training exercises.
The tunnels were first discovered by owners of Westwood Cross in 2015, by chance after a similar incident.
And photos taken by local history group Thanet Hidden History reveal the extent of the subterranean caves just feet below shoppers as they hit Primark for a spree.
It is thought that some of the tunnels beneath the clothes store date back to the First World War, while others contest that they were created after WW1 in preparation for another conflict.
Yet, mystery mainly shrouds the existence of the long hidden tunnels. Back in 2015 a Freedom of Information request was sent to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) by Ravenside Investments Ltd – a subsidiary of Land Securities, which owns Westwood Cross – trying to track down records of the tunnels.
A representative asked for detailed maps of the underground network and wrote: “We have recently discovered tunnels underneath our property and have reason to believe these were created by the army during the First World War as a training exercise.”
However, “no information” was held by the MoD and the true scale of the underground labyrinth remains unknown.
According to Thanet Hidden History’s Facebook page , the air raid shelter hidden under the shopping centre was sealed for good a few years ago to prevent further damage.
Wartime tunnels are not a rare sight in Thanet. In fact a mass network of tunnels and air raid shelters run beneath the Isle.
Among these subterranean structures include the Ramsgate Tunnels , where at one point, hundreds of locals were living underground in a neighbourhood totally beneath the soil.