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Report - The Liverpool Labyrinth - December - 2011

Discussion in 'Underground Sites' started by kevsy21, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. kevsy21

    kevsy21 28DL Regular User
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    Joseph Williamson was born on 10th March 1769. His place of birth is not definitely proven, but is widely believed to be Warrington
    The Liverpool Labyrinth is part of the Williamson Tunnels, it is located in the Edge Hill area of Liverpool, this part is not open to the general public.

    Today, much of Williamson’s labyrinth is inaccessible, either through being filled with rubble or through being bricked up. For the moment therefore, the only impression we can gain of some parts of the system comes from anecdotal evidence. Here, then, we bring together some of the more descriptive quotes from the writings of the two historians whose works have fed most contemporary accounts of the Williamson tunnels.

    Firstly, Charles Hand describes the tunnels under Paddington as he saw them in 1916: “..... 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.”

    Williamson kept taking more and more men on. No doubt others left: through age, through finding a better job. Perhaps some were killed in the dangerous conditions: dark, dusty, noisy, cold in winter and hot in summer. The rock men worked with picks, shovels and barrows while the carpenters used axes and saws to build formers for the bricklayers to lay arches on. Under ground, the men worked by candlelight. Certainly some would have been injured, but they may have been kept on. There would always have been a need for store men, counters, men to hand out the food and wages.
    Friends of Williamson’s Tunnels are a voluntary organisation which is trying to find and excavate the whole of the tunnel system.
    Acting on information Georgie had be given we tried our luck and were very fortunate to gain access and were given an informative and enthusiastic tour of the tunnel system that had been cleared up to now.
    Work is slow due to the council not allowing the group to remove soil and spoil to the surface for disposal so they have to move it from one part to the other for the time being.

    Many of Williamsons Tunnels remain undiscovered, the Labyrinth was only discovered when flats were getting demolished and a hole in the ground appeared. After closer inspection they were discovered to be part of Williamsons work. The trust was able to secure a deal to install manhole covers and install a stairway in order to investigate further.
    The discovered parts comprises of 3 levels up to now with a borehole on the lower level proved there is at least 35 to 40ft of lower levels again.

    Visited with Georgie. ​

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    Some of the stuff discovered during the dig.
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    More finds.
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    Pick marks evident in the sandstone.
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    Thanks for looking.​
     
    #1 kevsy21, Jan 1, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2012
    Bolts likes this.

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