Wellington Quarry

Arras, France

20 metres below the pavements of Arras is the Wellington Quarry, a site immersed in memory and emotion. In November 1916, the British started preparing for the 1917 spring offensive. Their stroke of genius: to have the New Zealand tunnellers connect up the town’s chalk extraction tunnels to create a real network of underground barracks large enough to accommodate up to 24,000 soldiers. After a 20-metre descent in a glass-fronted lift, the audio guided and escorted visit plunges the visitor into the site’s atmosphere. A strategic location as well as a living space, the Quarry, named Wellington by the New Zealand sappers, preserves the memory of those thousands of soldiers quartered underground just a few metres from the front, before launching themselves onto the field of battle on 9th April 1917 at 5.30 in the morning, in a surprise attack on the German positions. Through the projection of a film, coming to the surface in the soldiers’ footsteps bring the shock of battle to life.

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Details

Founded: 1916
Category: Statues in France

More Information

www.explorearras.com

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jørn Nielsen (2 years ago)
Good museum.A little bit special and very interesting to be underground to see where the new zealand miners where working,and where so many soldiers were hidden from artillery.The french guides talks good english
Rob Hearne (3 years ago)
Fascinating history that's brilliantly presented. A great way to spend an hour or so underground and out of the weather. As a bit of an AV nerd also, it's great to see technology put to such good use in telling the stories of times past. Very slick and refined audio, video and lighting.
John Coates (3 years ago)
Very interesting story. Tour was good but not great. You have to do the tour though.
Gillian Cruise (3 years ago)
A truly fantastic place to visit. Full of atmosphere, moving and educational. And only €7 entry
Paul Bird (3 years ago)
Feels very hands on experience but you do nothing but follow the guide. Tours are limited to available spaces so you could turn up and no slots available. Amazing place given how long it took to construct. Keep your eyes open as there are a number of places where tommies have left their mark that the guide doesn't point out. Bizarre that this place is in the middle of.the modern town.
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