THREE tunnels in Devonport which date back to the Napoleonic War are to go under the hammer next month.
The chambers on Devonport Hill were also used in World War Two as air raid shelters for Plymouth residents during bombing blitzes on the city.
They have been in the Tapper family since the 1950s and now with little use for them the family have put them on the market.
Co-owner Kevin said hearsay history of the tunnels had been passed through the family.
He said the origins of the chambers come from the days when Devonport was a fortified town with its own moat and drawbridge.
The stones the arches now rest on were the stones of which the drawbridge laid when opened.
It is believed the dead and injured of the war were transported away from the eyes of the Plymouth public up to the former Cumberland House through the drained out moat.
Decades later the arches were built upon the stones making the tunnels we see in the pictures today which have been used for storage more recently.
Mr Tapper’s grandfather was a fisherman with moorings at Stonehouse.
He would use the chambers as storage for his boat and fishing gear until he passed the tunnels onto his son – Kevin’s uncle.
They later made their way to Kevin’s father who was in the process of buying the tunnels off the Ministry of Defence when he died suddenly.
“I purchased them from the MoD, my father was buying them when he suddenly died,” explained sub-contractor Kevin.
“The MoD asked if we wished to carry on the purchase because the family had been long standing tenants.
“Myself and my brother are co-owners of them but we weren’t doing anything with them and because of their location they need a lot of attention so we’ve decided to move on now.”
He said there was quite a history handed through the family.
The 54-year-old from St Budeaux, said: “We’ve been told that they injured all the injured and dead up to the hospital behind the tunnels and I believe the French Prisoners of War were paraded up them to keep them from the Plymouth people.
“They didn’t want people in Plymouth to see the horrors of Naval battle.”
The tunnels are set to go on auction on December 12.