1. Welcome to 28DaysLater.co.uk - 28DL - The UK Urban Exploring / Urban Exploration / Urbex Forums.

    Asylums and Hospitals, High Stuff, Industrial, Leisure Sites, Residential Sites, Military Sites, Mines and Quarries, ROC Posts, Theatres and Cinemas, Draining, Underground Sites, European and International Sites, Leads, Rumours and News, Kit, Clothing, Equipment, Photography and Video sections plus a lot more.

    Please feel free to browse this website as a guest. Creating an account removes some ads, allows you to post replies, start new topics and threads, and gives you access to more features including bookmarking, live chat, messaging and notification systems.

    Create an account | Login | Request new password

Report - Kettleness & Sandsend tunnels, April 2015

Discussion in 'Underground Sites' started by Mutagen, Apr 18, 2015.

  1. Mutagen

    Mutagen 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2015
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    211
    These have been done to death by many people better than me previously but I hope you'll indulge me as I cobble together some photos spread over three separate visits in March and April 2015 with some ramblings.

    History

    Surely you all know this by now? Built way back in the late nineteenth century in order to re-route the Middlesbrough-Whitby-Scarborough railway away from the cliffs (the original plan will be discussed later in the report), these two tunnels are now the best part of 130 years old and in pretty good nick, all things considered. They last saw rail traffic in 1958 and have been abandoned ever since.

    Kettleness Tunnel

    The shorter of the two tunnels at only 308 yards yet with a curve inside that means you do experience true darkness briefly as you journey through.

    North portal in the 1950s:

    [​IMG]

    And now:

    IMG_2484.jpg

    The tunnel is surprisingly colourful inside with far less soot and mess than its neighbour: in this shot, you see the curve in the tunnel (looking back towards the north portal) and the adit to the east that runs out the cliff edge.

    IMG_1038.jpg

    This adit was used to clear spoil from the tunnel and this was then dumped out at the cliff edge - rumours abound that this adit intercepted an old jet working (and you can certainly still see plenty of jet in the roof and walls as you traverse the roof fall inside the adit). Whatever its real purpose, there has been a roof fall in the past but the whole adit can be passed through to arrive at the cliff edge.

    IMG_1041.jpg
    IMG_2479.jpg

    Running at right angles to the adit entrance is the old proposed course of the original railway on a fragile shelf above the North Sea (more on that later).

    Travelling back through the adit, it's a short journey to the south portal of Kettleness Tunnel.

    IMG_2472.jpg
    Compare this to the scene when the tunnel was in use:

    [​IMG]

    Again, you can see the shelf that was intended to carry the original railway in the right background. Lots of this has been lost to the sea in the intervening years!

    You now get a short stretch of outdoor walking through the gnarled trees and bramble bushes that have sprung up over the last 60 years before you reach the north portal of Sandsend Tunnel.

    IMG_2467.jpg

    IMG_2463.jpg
    There was a major portal collapse here in 2008/2009 but you just need to pick your way over a mound of earth, stone and twisted reinforcing rail to get into Sandsend Tunnel.

    Sandsend Tunnel

    [​IMG]
    This is what the north portal looked like after the line was abandoned in the 1950s. You can already see the distorted stonework in the arch - steel rails were inserted as reinforcement but the unstoppable forces of nature meant that it was only a matter of time before a collapse occurred.

    Sandsend Tunnel is a real Jekyll and Hyde of a tunnel - fantastically dark, dry and sooty for the first half (which makes photography hard as it soaks up all the light you can throw at it) then lighter but muddier, wetter and grimmer for the last half leading up to the south portal. In the tunnel, there are two side adits leading off to the cliff edge (more later) and five huge ventilation shafts which are pouring with water for most of the year (except the southernmost one for some strange reason).

    This is the northernmost ventilation shaft and the rubble that has accumulated at its base:

    IMG_1064.jpg

    The two adit entrances look like this (northernmost first followed by southernmost):

    IMG_1682.jpg

    IMG_1694.jpg

    The northern adit must have suffered a collapse at some point as the point of light marking the cliff exit can no longer be seen - the woodwork around the beams and shutters here is like soft plasticine and the floor is deep sucking mud so I didn't go into the northern adit any further - I did explore the southern one however after travelling through the rest of the tunnel.

    As you get past the halfway mark, the soot seems to disappear and you get fantastic calcite formations and some spectacular stalctites:

    IMG_2446.jpg

    IMG_2460.jpg

    It gets much wetter here too and there is much sticky orange mud on the floor.

    IMG_1685.jpg
    IMG_2462.jpg

    There is also the sad sight of some bulging and shattered brick and stonework further down in the tunnel as time and water ingress take their toll:

    IMG_2448.jpg

    The final ventilation shaft is a beauty as it's not pishing water down like a waterfall - which means you can get right underneath and get some shots up:

    IMG_2454.jpg

    IMG_2456.jpg

    The southern adit


    As previously mentioned, I really didn't like the look of the northern adit - rotten timbers, deep sucking mud and a lack of visible exit persuaded me to leave that one for another day. The southern adit has a clear line of sight to the cliff exit though so I headed off into that one with my tripod acting as my depth gauge for the mud and water.

    Fifteen metres or so in and you're faced with a ladder that must have served some purpose in the past but it's hard to imagine what that could be as the roof timbers only have a very small void above before some more shuttering closes the roof in.

    IMG_2424.jpg

    As you head out towards the cliff edge, thick mud gives way to water and there is more bracing for the timbers:

    IMG_2427.jpg

    Five minutes of toiling through increasingly deep water gets you back in the fresh air and looking back into the surprisingly small cliff entrance (made smaller by landslips etc over the last hundred years or so):

    IMG_2432.jpg

    A shot back in from the cliff entrance:

    IMG_2431.jpg

    Heading back in, I was faced with some stunning ochre-coloured water where I had stirred all the thick sludge up on the way through earlier so dimmed my lights and let rip with a long exposure:

    IMG_2436.jpg

    Once back in the main tunnel, I headed out through the north portal with the intention of following the old 'shelf' route of the original proposed railway line - cue a fight with brambles that has left me scratched to buggery and also resulted in the inadvertant loss of one of my Lee filter caps from my camera ....

    You can see the shelf where the railway was intended to run until part of the cliff collapsed and it was decided to build the tunnels instead ......

    IMG_2475.jpg

    IMG_2480.jpg
    IMG_2477.jpg
    And with that, it's time to sign off. Thanks for reading!
     

    Remove this ad by donating or subscribing.

  2. Oort

    Oort The spice expands consciousness.
    Regular User

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2014
    Messages:
    917
    Likes Received:
    434
    Great report and very nice pics!! thanks for sharing
     
    Mutagen likes this.
  3. dave

    dave 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2007
    Messages:
    360
    Likes Received:
    70
    What a great report and beautifully photographed. Your a brave man for attempting that cliff edge section that was abandoned. Sandsend tunnel is a beast ive done it 3 times but still loved the experience. Kettleness is a doddle by comparison. In the last war men used to patrol Sandsend tunnel on a regular basis for fear of a sea based German invasion apparently.
     
    jrwphotography and Mutagen like this.
  4. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2013
    Messages:
    3,126
    Likes Received:
    1,645
    Agree nicely shot mate :thumb and nice report.

    You made the right choice visiting before the hanging Gardens of Babylon resumes it"s growth, I"ve never been nettled & ripped so much before. Although whether it"s dormant growth or landslips covering it who knows :D

    Love the Ochre audit shot , I didn"t bother with the flooded Audits due to only being in walking boots & i"m sticking to that excuse ;)although by the time i emerged the other end i may as well have gone swimming in there :( The cliff edge exit is impressive, you don"t get those often in Yorkshire :D

    I just presumed that as the engines were working so hard up the steep incline, that"s why there are greater remains of soot on the Tunnel roof than lower down the Sandsend side. (even allowing for the water ingress) I know they always had issues actually getting up the gradient, so much so the engines had air scoops fitted to draw air from track level (where there was less smoke) for the Engine crew to actually breathe so called better air :eek:
     
    Hypatia and Mutagen like this.
  5. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
    Staff Member Admin

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    5,462
    Likes Received:
    1,475
    Home Page:
    Fantastic report that is mate, thanks for taking the time putting that together.
     
    The Wombat, dave and Mutagen like this.
  6. huey

    huey 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2014
    Messages:
    315
    Likes Received:
    111
    Agree with everything said,cracking report mate and awesome pics.
     
    Mutagen likes this.
  7. The Wombat

    The Wombat Mr Wombat
    Regular User

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,052
    Likes Received:
    386
    that is a cracking report
    Your photos are spot on; thanks for sharing
     
    Mutagen likes this.
  8. Miss Mayhem

    Miss Mayhem 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2015
    Messages:
    1,059
    Likes Received:
    299
    Amazing report, your photographs are stunning :thumb
     
    Mutagen likes this.
  9. jrwphotography

    jrwphotography 28DL Member
    28DL Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    1
    Amazing shots and report
     
    Mutagen likes this.
  10. Carter

    Carter 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    7
    Been through here myself a few times, great photos you have there mate!
     
    Mutagen likes this.
  11. T-Dawg

    T-Dawg 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2015
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    13
    Nice report and amazing photos! I love the detail you go into
     
    Mutagen likes this.
  12. KM_Punk

    KM_Punk Muppet
    Regular User

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2012
    Messages:
    1,375
    Likes Received:
    633
    Cracking stuff :thumb You've caught those colours perfectly :thumb cheers for sharing
     
    Mutagen likes this.
  13. Rik UE

    Rik UE 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2013
    Messages:
    328
    Likes Received:
    25
    Nice report! An enjoyable read!

    Thanks for posting!
     
    Mutagen likes this.
  14. Mutagen

    Mutagen 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2015
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    211
    Thanks for the positive feedback fellas - I really appreciate it. Enjoying contributing to the site after being a guest lurker for a while.
     
    Hypatia likes this.
  15. morse

    morse The Green Giraffe
    Regular User

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    35
    Great write up and photos. Really enjoyed reading this :thumb
     
Draft saved Draft deleted
Loading...

Users Who Have Read This Thread (Total: 0)

Share This Page

Remove this ad by creating an account and logging in