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Report - Seething Wells Thames Ditton 14/03/10

Discussion in 'Other Sites' started by pirate, Mar 14, 2010.

  1. pirate

    pirate Rum Swigger
    Regular User

    Jan 5, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Built by James Simpson in 1857


    Seething Wells is a locality of Surbiton in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames. It is the site of a former water treatment works on the south bank of the River Thames. Part of it was redeveloped in the early 2000s. The filter beds remain the property of Thames Water, via their property agency Kennett Homes. The beds' riverside location has attracted the attention of developers and they have been the object of development applications, so far not granted. The beds are a designated wildlife area within Greater London. A substantial labyrinth of underground tunnels and structures, some of which are statutorily listed, forms an important haven for eight species of bat including some of Britains' rarer varieties subject to special protection. The beds and converted waterworks are part of one of the Royal Borough of Kingston's Conservation Areas. (Wiki)

    The main pump house is now owned by a sports club and the rest of the buildings are on a college campus and all appear to have been converted

    Visited in 2 trips,
    1st with Urban Junkie and Datsun by river
    2nd with Datsun & non-member.

    "Sand Filter beds"

    "Looking down the Portsmouth road"

    Our main objective was to find the substantial labyrinth of underground tunnels.The first trip by river was to find the barge tunnel which we were led to believe went all the way under the portsmouth road.After an hour journey in the biting wind we located the start of the tunnel which went in a good 30ft then stopped....fail.
    We decided to try topside.
    The only building left unconverted on the site is a Grade 2 listed open coal yard.

    The coal yard is quite central on the site and we thought the network of tunnels might have started here.

    "Looking back across coal yard"

    The first room we found was a large triangular affair with pipes and valves,this was all self contained with areas of new concrete.


    The 2nd room had more promise but was a bitch to get into.But with a bit of persistance we were in.

    After getting down the steps we were led in one direction under the triangular room.Containing the bottom halves of the valves.At this point my little torch wasn't up to light painting so had to use a flash.



    I climbed the dodgy stairs up the tower but the roof access was blocked and i didn't fancy getting near the edge of the platforms to take a downwards shot.I did get intercepted by a squirrel on the way down :D

    In the other direction was a tunnel :thumb


    This tunnel is approx 150mtr long and runs from the coal yard tower underneath the portsmouth road and into the old wharf area.The plinths on the floor (R/H) would have had a track system on them to transport the coal to the tower area,where it was somehow lifted 10-15ft into the coal yard.

    "Looking back into tower area"


    Along the tunnel at various points in the roof are access shafts which all relate to above ground buildings.
    The site is fairly large and live so i doubt any more tunnels can be found without permission to access the buildings.


    "Building above tunnel"



    I shall try and get Uj to add photos of the river part of this trip as i didn't have my camera at the time.


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