Mysterious tunnels of London

Discussion in 'London and the South East' started by boohoo, Nov 14, 2014.

  1. boohoo

    boohoo No.

    There are lots of stories about secret tunnels linking buildings under London for a whole variety of reason. So what stories do you know and what has been true?

    Where I live there is meant to be a tunnel from what was the house of Mary Nesbitt to what was called the Grecian house on Crown Point - which seems a little unlikely. Curiously, Nesbitt did own a small patch of land at the top of Crown point as revealed on the Enclosure maps of 1800.

    Someone told me there was tunnels under the Army and Navy building in Victoria - possibly to connect the two parts of the store.

    My best tunnel experience was going behind the wall in Euston station. We went in on the Northern line and saw the remains of a lift shaft. At that point by anxiety got the better of me - so I didn't go further.
    Jason404, Spymaster, danski and 5 others like this.
  2. boohoo

    boohoo No.

  3. el-ahrairah

    el-ahrairah forward communism, forward gerbils!

    my introduction to exciting tunnels came as a kid. my dad, who was a tube driver his whole working life, took me on a training exercise late at night. we were detrained in the middle of a tunnel, then the staff had to shut down the leccy and walk us out of the tunnel. fascinating.

    my least favourite tunnel experience came in a protest tunnel in east london when i discovered that there weren't any pit props. last time i went in that damn tunnel.
    scifisam, Oula, idumea and 4 others like this.
  4. BandWagon

    BandWagon Life's a bitch and then you die...

    It's nothing to do with London, but in Amboise (not far from where I live) there's supposed to be a tunnel linking the chateau to Leonardo da Vinci's house, so he could meet the king in private. No one has ever found it though.

    (Bit off topic. :oops:)
    Greebo and boohoo like this.
  5. High Voltage

    High Voltage In the top 97% of Urban's most interesting posters

    The more I hear about tunnels under "that Lunnun" - the more I think about Ankh Morpork

    No real reason
    Greebo likes this.
  6. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    Highgate high-level is :cool:
    boohoo likes this.
  7. Bungle73

    Bungle73 I was there, now I'm here Banned

    There's a 472 foot tunnel in New Cross, which was built for the uncompleted Jubilee line extension to Thamsemead in 1971-2.

    There also the Tower Subway, which was originally for pedestrians to cross the Thames before Tower Bridge was built. It started off with a small cable car to convey people. It's now used for services, and you can see old entrances on either side of the river:


    There all sorts of things kind of stuff in these two books:

    Secret London, by Andrew Duncan


    London under London: A Subterranean Guide, but Richard Trench and Ellis Hillman

    Both are out of print and a bit old now though.

    Edit: Actually, the former is still being sold new by Amazon so I guess it's not out of print. It hasn't been updated since 2009 though. The latter book concentrates solely on underground London though, and has more information.
  8. boohoo

    boohoo No.

    Bungle73 I think my dad has got London under London - I'm impressed when a secret London book can tell me a secret I don't know.
    Greebo, krtek a houby and Bungle73 like this.
  9. el-ahrairah

    el-ahrairah forward communism, forward gerbils!

    i'm getting like that now!
    boohoo likes this.
  10. boohoo

    boohoo No.

  11. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat meh

    I thought the south bank entrance had been removed? I couldn't find it one occasion I went looking for it...
  12. el-ahrairah

    el-ahrairah forward communism, forward gerbils!

    certainly not many in the Uk in that condition. lovely. refurbed or well maintained?
  13. Bungle73

    Bungle73 I was there, now I'm here Banned

    Not sure about that one.
  14. Bungle73

    Bungle73 I was there, now I'm here Banned

    Ah, according to Wiki they're not the original entrances, and the southern one was demolished in the 1990s:
  15. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat meh

    As far as books go, Underground London - Travels beneath the city streets, Stephen Smith (2004) is also worth a read.

    Birkbeck College used to do a 'subterranean London' module in their London Studies courses. I did plan to do this a few years back, but couldn't due to work commitments that year, and it had been deleted the following year :(
    friendofdorothy, Greebo and Bungle73 like this.
  16. Minnie_the_Minx

    Minnie_the_Minx someinenhhanding menbag and me ah bollox

    That's gorgeous

    I was just going to ask whether that was part of the old Whitehall Palace because I remember hearing about it when I worked there. I don't know whether Cabinet Office does tours for the public but there's still remnants of the old Palace there.
    boohoo likes this.
  17. Minnie_the_Minx

    Minnie_the_Minx someinenhhanding menbag and me ah bollox

    Greebo likes this.
  18. StoneRoad

    StoneRoad heckling from the back!

    Not especially mysterious, but I'm fascinated by "Mail Rail" ...........

    If I recall correctly, a little bit of it is now open for visits.
  19. Minnie_the_Minx

    Minnie_the_Minx someinenhhanding menbag and me ah bollox

    Pretty sure I saw it mentioned on the news a while back
  20. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    During construction of the MoD building on Whitehall, Wolsey's cellar was preserved by encasing the whole thing in girders and suspending it on chains while the new basements were excavated around it. However, the outbreak of ww2 interrupted the building works, so the wine cellars hung there for 8 years, a Tudor basement dangling on chains underground.

    danski, ringo, tufty79 and 7 others like this.
  21. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat meh

    think the intention is it will be, but not yet as far as I can gather
  22. StoneRoad

    StoneRoad heckling from the back!

    Greebo and Minnie_the_Minx like this.
  23. Minnie_the_Minx

    Minnie_the_Minx someinenhhanding menbag and me ah bollox

    Yeah, heard an odd story about it, but couldn't remember it, so cheers :)
  24. boohoo

    boohoo No.

    These aren't tunnels but the long corridor with no escape are like tunnels. (I'm behind the camera - it's all a bit Blair Witch :D)
  25. boohoo

    boohoo No.

    Greebo, silvermoon and Onket like this.
  26. trashpony

    trashpony Ovaries and tings

    Not London but they've recently reopened Ramsgate Tunnels and run daily guided tours. I went a couple of weeks ago and highly recommend a visit if you're ever in the area. The original tunnel was for the railway down to the beach (no longer there) and it was extended into a network of about 2km under the town just before WWII as a public shelter during air raids. Around 300 families lived there pretty much permanently during the war :eek:

  27. Onket

    Onket Je suis [CONTENT REMOVED]

    boohoo likes this.
  28. hash tag

    hash tag member

    I am not quite sure what they are, but there is a large space underground, beneath Carey Gardens in SW8. There is lots if housing over them now and I believe they were used to store munitions during the war. As far as i know, the space still exists but cant find out anything about them.
    Greebo and oryx like this.
  29. silvermoon

    silvermoon silvermoon

    Greebo likes this.
  30. hot air baboon

    hot air baboon Well-Known Member

    ...there's a great "haunted tunnel" at Embankment tube station ( forward to 18 min mark )...

    ...despite the cheesy title its actually quite a compelling doccumentary overall...

    Bungle73 likes this.

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