Map of the Tunnels, latest update (Sept 2019)

Edge Hill Tunnels Map - Sept 2019
Joseph Williamson’s Tunnels – The known & Suspected Tunnels in Edge Hill (updated Sept 2019) To view the map at full size, click on the image

Since FoWT first produced their map of the tunnels, back in Feb 2016, it has been constantly evolving as we continue our research and progress with our digging and clearing of Joseph Williamson’s subterranean world. This map has been well referenced by many organisation and individuals alike since its creation.

The latest September 2019 update, includes several accuracy updates and tweaks to existing tunnels, as well as not one but two new tunnels recently discovered.

The first new tunnel found is located on the former Mr. Kassim’ land at the back of Williamson’s house site. The Tunnel was found by the developers whilst surveying for tunnel locations. The arch looked be complete, being aprox 6 metres below ground and being between 7 and 9 metres wide. We do not yet have access to this yet, we hope that we will be able to in the coming months.

The second new tunnel was found by us, under the former Merseyflex Land. We had been given permission to have a dig by Liverpool City Council using a JCB, you can read about this discovery here. Finding this tunnel has helped to show the accuracy of the army survey and our map too.

You can view this latest map update at full size by clicking on the image, or you can head to our map web page,  here.

New Photographs of the Triple Decker from the Railway Cutting.

This image, taken looking toward Liverpool Lime street shows the Blocked up Triple Decker tunnel on either side of the cutting (Look for the big sandstone blocks).

We have always known the fact that whilst Williamson was digging his Triple Decker Tunnel under the streets below Edge Hill, Stephenson and his men were also digging a second Tunnel in the other direction. This tunnel was to be the brand new railway down into Liverpool Lime Street. Neither Williamson’s nor Stephenson’s men knew of each other’s subterranean activities, until their two tunnels met, dissecting each other. You can read more here:

This is the blocked up entrance of the Triple Decker Tunnel on the ‘South’ side of the cutting wall
This is the blocked up entrance of the Triple Decker Tunnel on the North side of the cutting wall

Forward to modern day and that tunnel built by Stephenson is now a four track cutting, being widened in 1881 to the cutting we have today. At the point where the two tunnels cross, if you look very carefully you will see where the Triple Decker Tunnel has been bricked up with very large sandstone blocks. Of course if you are on a train, and you blink, you will miss this feature. Many will have never have noticed, while some may have seen this large area of sandstone blocks sealing what?

We were delighted when Chris Iles secured the permission from Network Rail to take an escorted walk of the length of the Railway Cutting from Lime Street, in order to photograph the Cutting itself, its short Tunnels and bridges and of course the important Williamson’s blocked off Triple Decker Tunnel.

As well as the Triple Decker, there is also the Ramsbottom’s Chimney vent shaft which is of great interest. You can read a little more here The purpose of this Tunnel in the Cutting wall was to vent the original Railway Tunnel. Inside here was a steam driven fan, leading up to a very large Chimney (Ramsbottom’s Chimney) The Chimney only being demolished in the 1970’s so some of you may well remember it on the skyline. It is said that when they demolished the chimney, they simply collapsed it into its self on top of the steam fan.

We wish to Thank Network Rail for their help and cooperation in allowing this visit.

Ramsbottoms Chimney vent. This is on the South wall of the Cutting.
This is a close-Up showing where a further arch would have been.
This image shows the Triple Decker Tunnel on either side North and South of cutting, further down the south wall towards Lime Street Station you can see Ramsbottom’s Vent
map close
This close-up of our map shows the Triple Decker Tunnel in relation to Williamson’s House and the Railway.


To view the complete collection of the Liverpool Lime Street to Edge Hill Cutting photographs that were taken on the day, click on the photograph below. You will find a Album of the photographs on Flickr. Enjoy

Liverpool Lime Street to Edge Hill Cutting

Lime St to Edge Hill Cutting.

Newly discovered Rock Cut Tunnel found in the Banqueting Hall

To view the video in full screen, view directly on YouTube:

Last month in our Banqueting Hall update we said about the discovery of a deep trench that we thought would go across the Banqueting Hall towards the opposite wall.

The New Find, still yet to be completely emptied

We have always suspected that on the other side of the Banqueting Hall wall, there is in fact another chamber or passage which was suggested on Army Plans, see our Map. So what is this chamber, where will it take us and will it be filled in with infill just like Paddington and Banqueting Hall were? We hope to know soon…

Looking down from the Scaffoling tower, showing the Trench and the New Tunnel in the wall of the Banqueting Hall.

Well I am delighted to report that having continued to excavate this trench, to the far side we have in fact found a long lost tunnel in the wall of the Banqueting Hall.

The trench looks to have been designed to include a brick arch roof across the top, but not for its entire length. Though it is not certain that this Arch was ever fitted. Half way along the trench, there is a junction which heads back towards the Gash. This has yet to be emptied, but will be working on doing this in the next few weeks. The trench continues across the Banqueting Hall from the “Gothic Arch” to the New Tunnel and in this distance the floor level of the trench slopes down, quite steeply at the Tunnel end. It is quite probable that this trench would have been a water drainage channel.

Looking back towards the Gothic Arch from within the New Tunnel. You can see the Gothic Arch above the scaffolding Tower.

The Tunnel itself is approx. 5ft high, extending into the Bedrock Wall of the Banqueting Hall for around 3ft. where at its end is a brick wall. The interesting thing about this wall is that it appears to have been bricked up from not within the Banqueting Hall but the other side of the Tunnel in the Chamber or passage beyond…

The New Tunnel from within the Trench…

At the end of the day, we tried to drill through the wall to see through to other side, though unfortunately our drill wasn’t long enough.

Watch this space to see what is on the other side of the Banqueting Hall Wall and where this tunnel will lead us…

You can take a look at the Friends of Williamson’s Tunnels YouTube Channel here:

Mason Street, Latest Progress.

In the last few weeks, we have been rather busy on Mason Street. During our regular digging days we have continued to dig out the Sandstone Arch, which is looking more impressive than it ever has. We are now down to the bedrock floor and it looks so much bigger and expansive.

The floor of the Sandstone Arch…
The view down off the ladder into the Sandstone Arch, showing the newly uncovered sandstone and tile floor.
The top of the Gash, access to the Banqueting Hall. Before we dug this out this passage to the bedrock floor, you had to duck down low. Now however, it is possible to walk upright into the Gash.

We have also continued to dig out the chambers behind the Wine Bins too. This has proved to be rather exciting, when we found a lovely wide staircase a couple of weeks ago.

The newly discovered staircase…

Though the staircase is unfortunately a little damaged, it is still a very impressive staircase. It is posible to look through a hole in one the steps, where you can see down into the Banqueting Hall, that’s a view we have never seen before.

The view looking down through the Staircase, down into the Banqueting Hall.

Then this week we uncovered a large impressive Fireplace, just nearby the stone staircase. Strangely, inside the fireplace we have been finding lots of artefacts ranging from bottles, jars to clay pipes.

The new Fireplace, this has proved to be very rich in new artefact finds.

We also had a dig on the former Magnet’s land next door, with the permission from Liverpool City Council. We had a JCB on site, and dug down behind the Sandstone Arch. The idea of this was to enable us to find and access the famous Great Tunnel. Although we have more to do, we did successfully get down as far as the Sandstone Arch.

This view is from the bottom of the new trench on the magnets site, looking into the Sandstone Arch with Tom and Andy inside.

Amazing 3D Scans of Paddington…

For many years, the Friends have wanted to produce a 3D laser scan of the tunnels. The process of scanning a space using this technology, provides a way of accurately measuring and detailing the shape and features of any internal space. It allows the relationship of Paddington’s 4 different Levels to be seen accurately together. The finished result will put the viewer within a virtual reality of Paddington. We hope that a virtual fly though of the tunnels could be made from these scans in the future too.

We were delighted to be contacted by Dr Nick Webb from the Liverpool School of Architecture. He wanted to explore the possibility of mapping the tunnels using this 3D laser scanning technology, of course we were thrilled to oblige.

These images are the first three renders of scans done so far showing the depth of Paddington. It is planned to scan the rest of the Tunnel system in stages, we look forward to continuing to work with Dr Webb on this project.

This first image shows Paddington from end on. The Arches in Levels 1, 2, 3 and 4 are clearly visible, as is the amazing 12 meter depth of Level 4. © Dr Nick Webb at the Liverpool School of Architecture


This image shows the Arches in Paddington. © Dr Nick Webb at the Liverpool School of Architecture


This image shows the shape of Paddington well including its Arches. The difference in depth between Levels 3 and 4 can once again be seen clearly. © Dr Nick Webb at the Liverpool School of Architecture