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Mysterious tunnels of London

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.

http://www.abandonedstations.org.uk/Euston_station.html
 

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.
 

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:)
 

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
 

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

and

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.
 
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

and

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

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:

A small round entrance building survives at Tower Hill near the Tower of London's ticket office, a short distance to the west of the main entrance to the Tower. This is not the original entrance, but was built in the 1920s by the London Hydraulic Power Company, with a ring of lettering giving the original date of construction and naming the LHPC. The entrance on the south bank of the Thames was demolished in the 1990s, and a new one has been built in its place. It is located just behind the Unicorn Theatre on Tooley Street, but there is no plaque to mark the site.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_Subway
 
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 :(
 

Minnie_the_Minx

someinenhhanding menbag and me ah bollox
Something underground that I'd love to see is Cardinal Wolsey's wine cellar (look at the lovely vaults) :



http://www.lbc.co.uk/londons-amazing-hidden-interiors-in-pictures-63666/view/27628#27628


Not too many medieval under-crofts in London.
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.
 

Minnie_the_Minx

someinenhhanding menbag and me ah bollox

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.
 

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.

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.
 

Minnie_the_Minx

someinenhhanding menbag and me ah bollox
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.
Yeah, heard an odd story about it, but couldn't remember it, so cheers :)
 

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)
 

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:

 

hash tag

chillin
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.
 

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...


 
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