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Report - The Liverpool Labyrinth - December - 2011 -

Discussion in 'Underground Sites' started by georgie, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. georgie

    georgie He Never Even Got There
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    this labyrinth is part of the williamson tunnels in the edge hill district of liverpool ,from what we have been told Joseph Williamson built quite a lot of 4 story houses in this area and along with the house came a 4 story deep cellar for what reason is unknown....and at some point connects to the other tunnels that were built

    from what we have been told this underground labyrinth is one of them cellars and it was found back in 1999 by pure chance, whilst demolition of existing residential flats on the land turned up a sort of large slab sticking out of the ground whilst excavation was underway one day, carefully watched by the friends of williamson tunnels trust they asked could the slab be lifted and to there amazement a hole appeared underneath it once it was lifted.

    without wasting any time a ladder was brought in and lowered down and brick work was found in the shape of arches, some of the brick was knocked through to reveal the complex cellar system which remains today,and continues to be excavated.

    the trust was in the area on the understanding that this plot of land had a tunnel running through it and if they had not been here that day it would have been lost forever, tarmaced over and forgotten so it was a lucky find for them.

    me and kevsy21 was allowed access into this place by the bloke who runs this project ,after id recieved information off another mate of mine and decided to follow it up.

    a bloody nice bloke indeed giving us a brief history lesson on the tunnels and mr williamson himself, we was joined shortly after by a group of his volunteers who were equally pleasant they told us it was frustrating for them as they recently bought a conveyer system to get rid of the earth, but couldnt because they wernt allowed a skip outside at the moment ,so they have to keep shifting earth in buckets to various parts of the cellars, whilst they excavate further.

    it was great to see this underground part thats not yet (and if it ever does) open to the public ,and it was also good to see some of the bottles they had dug up mostly local liverpool stuff which was nice.




    a little about the williamson tunnels.

    The Williamson Tunnels are a labyrinth of tunnels and underground caverns under the Edge Hill district of Liverpool in north-west England.

    They were built in the first few decades of the 1800s under the control of a retired tobacco merchant called Joseph Williamson.

    The purpose of their construction is not known with any certainty. Theories range from pure philanthropy, offering work to the unemployed of the district, to religous extremism, the tunnels being an underground haven from a predicted Armageddon.

    Although some of the tunnels have been lost over the years, a lot of them still exist today, under what is now a residential area.

    One section of the tunnels has been cleared and renovated and is open to the public. The remaining parts of the labyrinth are closed, with many suspected tunnels yet to be rediscovered.

    Friends of Williamson's Tunnels is a voluntary organisation which is trying to find and excavate the whole of the system. they are one of the biggest local history societies in Britain.



    the trust secured a deal with the council and various other parties to install a huge manhole like cover with ladders for access in and out of the cellars......the electric and link lights came later on, air is also pumped in constantley whilst people are working down there as it gets quite stale we were told

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    the first real look at what lies ahead....the original sandstone steps still remain and various arches grace the way down
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    the bottom level which is level 3 (level 4 is yet to be excavated) houses a rather long ash filled tunnel (2 in fact), part of this has been dug out ,although they dont expect to find anything of historical value in there, but they reckon the tunnel will open out into another big huge cavern further along.
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    some of the stonework in here was amazing, the spoils on the right are whats getting excavated down here from other parts of this level
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    some of the stuff found so far
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    these things found have to stay in here so they display everything and number it as they find it ,moving earth from one part of the cellars to the other...this display was actually stopping excavation on another tunnel on level 3 due to it being right at the end, but they had no where else to put it.......the bloke who runs the project is trying to get these put on display in the main heritage centre
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    level 2 also housed quite a few nice surprises (the brick walls have been made by the volunteers to hide some of the rubble and earth they cant get rid of.)
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    skullz...
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    this made me laugh a bloke hitting a skeleton with a bat?
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    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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  2. winchman

    winchman 28DL Full Member
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  3. Wevsky

    Wevsky A Predisposed Tourist
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    did you actually leave a comment or just quote the whole report?
     
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  4. MrGlasses

    MrGlasses 28DL Full Member
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    amazing photos, interesting the amount of items that have been found so far
     
  5. winchman

    winchman 28DL Full Member
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    Just a short update to your excellent report.
    This set of tunnels ( Paddington) are now almost dug out, its open this weekend for tours so we went today, as you said a very helpful friendly group of people showed us around as part of a tour, its a special one off for Heritage days
    https://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/visiting/event/friends-of-williamsons-tunnels-paddington-site1
    They still have loads more to go at including a 1 mile long one currently blocked up as they are trying to get permission to dig it from the land owners. They also do tours on Sundays and Wednesday but please check, no charge just a donation as they keep paying for skips to take the spoil away!

    I did get a bit confused as the multiple tunnels are ran by different organisations, this one and this side of the train tracks are ran by
    https://williamsontunnels.com
    They have a portacabin in the grounds of Williamsons old house or whats left of it, the tunnel entrance is a short walk away on a car park.

    ( if you go ignore the brown tourist signs as they take you to the other site)

    The other site and side of the railway, this group have a visitor centre
    http://www.williamsontunnels.co.uk/view.php?page=information

    I
     
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  6. winchman

    winchman 28DL Full Member
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    Sorry my fat fingers, I did leave a report in the end didn't mean to quote the original
     
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  7. winchman

    winchman 28DL Full Member
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    Basically when they fell in to disuse anything that wasn't burnt to keep warm was thrown down the holes.
    If you look at the map here
    https://williamsontunnels.com/the-tunnels/map/
    The great Tunnel marked A & B was used by the MOD as a rifle range and a Pontoon bridge practice area so you can imagine how big it is, they are currently trying to get permission to make an entrance, they have tried many years ago but found an 8ft thick wall with even more infill behind it which they suspect is for behind the targets as a bullet catcher.
    Apparently the MOD will give no info on it even though they no longer own it, well they owned the land above at some time just to use the tunnel.
     
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  8. MrGlasses

    MrGlasses 28DL Full Member
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    fascinating information Winchman
     
  9. georgie

    georgie He Never Even Got There
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    Cheers for the update i keep in touch with a few people who help dig out these tunnels its amazing how much progress they have made
     
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  10. winchman

    winchman 28DL Full Member
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    Especially when you consider its all done by hand and waste is carried out in buckets! Should be very interesting once they get permission to start on the other tunnels
     
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