The Tunnels

“In one section of the ground – that near Grinfield-street – where there was of late years a joiner’s shop, the ground was completely undermined in galleries and passages, one over the other, constituting a labyrinth of the most intricate design.  Near here also was a deep gulf, in the wall sides of which were two houses completely excavated out of the solid rock, each having four rooms of tolerable dimensions.”

“There is a vault in the southern wall opposite the wall just described.  It runs towards Grinfield-street, and is composed of two large arches side by side, surmounted by two smaller ones.  In the eastern face of the quarry there is an immense arch perhaps sixty feet high; and about thirty feet from its entrance there is an immense and massive stone pier from which spring two arches on each side, one above the other, but not from the same level.  The pier is hollowed on the inside by three arches.  On the left hand wall inside the arch there are two large arches, from which vaults run northwardly, and on the right hand side of the wall there are also two vaults which extend to a great distance in a southwardly direction, towards Grinfield-street.  From these vaults other vaults branch off in all sorts of directions.”   James Stonehouse, 1846.


“… we descended with infinite care the stone steps leading into the very bowels of the earth.  At the bottom of the first flight, an archway cut out of the moist and musty rock led away to the right, and the next flight branched away on either hand, giving access to low tunnels and more steps down … We groped our way carefully along the accessible ramifications of these crypts to the depth of three storeys below the street level.  There are three or more storeys below these – the basement is said to be as deep as the buildings are high … We failed to discover a boundary. We were in a nightmare maze of constructed tunnels and caves.  Nobody knows their extent.”   Charles Hand, c.1926.


Intriguing isn’t it?  Fine out more below:




The House