Interior of the Lochnagar Crater at La Boisselle, August 1916. © IWM (Q912)

Learn

The Lochnagar Crater is an extraordinary place. Not only was it significant in the opening of the Battle of the Somme but its unique blend of evocative atmosphere, accessibility and the thoughtful care for our appreciative visitors, has guaranteed that many return time and time again. We have created the following pages to provide an understanding of the context in which the Lochnagar mine came to be.

Military Mining

The primary purpose of military mining can be defined as the digging of mine shafts, tunnels and underground chambers, in order to place explosives directly beneath enemy trenches and strong points, powerful enough to destroy them.

Mining at Lochnagar

The tunnel for the Lochnagar mine was started on 11 November 1915 by 185 Tunnelling Company, but was completed by 179 Tunnelling Company who took over in March 1916.

The First Day of the Somme

Facing Lochnagar, eight successive waves of infantrymen of the 34th Division stood up from their trenches, and in straight lines prescribed, officers in front as ordered, set off at a walk to attack the German front line trenches.

Statistics

The Lochnagar Crater is remarkable for many reasons and to this day it is the largest crater ever made by man in anger. At the time it was, and remains still, a truly awe-inspiring and powerfully evocative sight.

Lochnagar Labyrinth

The 20 ‘Labyrinth’ panels lead visitors on an emotional journey around the Crater. They relate the story of the Crater itself and the experiences of some of the men who suffered in the battle.

Lochnagar Memorials

The Lochnagar Crater is pleased to be host to several unique memorials from a diverse range of causes. We are proud to offer pilgrims a place to pause and reflect in a now peaceful setting.

Schools & Educational Visits

Over recent years, the inclusion of the First World War in the secondary schools syllabus has encouraged an increasing number of school visits to The Lochnagar Crater.

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