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Lead or Rumour info - Ashperton Canal Tunnel, near Ledbury, Herefordshire

Discussion in 'Leads, Rumours and News...' started by Bertie Bollockbrains, Mar 10, 2016.

  1. Bertie Bollockbrains

    Bertie Bollockbrains 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Sep 1, 2014
    Likes Received:
    400m long derelict canal tunnel on the partially restored Hereford and Gloucester Canal. This is the only photo I can find on the internet and to me that probably looks doable in some way. Not sure if it's a walk, a squeeze, a wade or an underground boat trip; or just simply impossible.


    Some history... "So determined was Stephen Ballard to complete Ashperton Tunnel in as little time as possible that he set up home not far from the site. He built himself a house of dry bricks with only a few mortar courses so that he could be on hand to supervise the works at all hours.

    The major problem with the construction of the tunnel was keeping the shafts free of water and the dangerous nature of the work due to threat of landslides and flooding. One night Stephen Ballard stayed up until 1am with a boy who had fallen 60ft down one of the tunnel's shafts.

    The tunnel was often unstable, and to solve this problem it was lined with brick and stone throughout. The waters from the River Frome, needed to fill the canal section around Ashperton Tunnel, were legalised in November 1841 and on 20th August 1842 the Frome waters were let into the canal, which at that time had been nearly empty all the way to Gloucester. To celebrate the event two barrels of cider were bought for the navvies, which they rapidly proceeded to drink.

    Ashperton Tunnel had created problems and Ballard was forced to admit that the cost had far exceeded the estimates. He travelled to Birmingham in the hope of borrowing an extra £13,000, but returned empty handed on the newly-opened railway, remarking on its great comfort and reliability."

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