Tunnels scheme between Kinver and Wolverley to mark start of visitor hub

Plans to turn historic tunnels into a museum are only the first phase of a much bigger scheme to transform the site into a major tourist hub, it has been revealed.

Quercus Ilex SA, which owns Drakelow Tunnels between Kinver and Wolverley, has submitted proposals for the museum to Wyre Forest District Council.

But an agent for the company today said the scheme was only intended to be ‘phase one’ of planned improvements for the site.

Owners also plan to create a nature walk giving greater access to a listed monument and views over the escarpment where the tunnels are built.

The Baxter Monument is an obelisk built in the mid-19th century by William Hancock in honour of 17th century preacher Richard Baxter.

There are also plans to eventually restore a series of rock houses at the site which are close to the tunnel entrances. Two groups of houses are on the site – nine to the east on two levels which are almost intact along with some shallow overgrown cave houses which extend down the hillside to the west.

Agent for the owners Sarah Gauntlett Shea said the aim was to get the museum set up and generating money before embarking on other improvements.

“The museum represents phase one of what my client hopes to do with this historically very important site,” she said.

“Eventually it is hoped work will take place at the rock houses as well to restore them.

“Obviously all of the plans are still in their early stages at the moment.”

The tunnels were excavated during the Second World War and used to manufacture machinery to be used in the conflict.