Report - - Boaty Adventures ,Camden Horsetunnels May 2011 | Underground Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Boaty Adventures ,Camden Horsetunnels May 2011


Rum Swigger
Regular User
Visited with Datsun and Rustproofhawk

A tunnel was built under Camden Goods Yard in 1854-56 so that horses working in the goods yard could make their way safely beneath the tracks to and from their stables. Soon afterwards, a second tunnel was built to connect with Allsop's stables on the site of 42 Gloucester Avenue. The Regent's Canal towpath was also connected with the horse tunnels. At the peak, some 400 horses worked in the goods yard and sidings, moving goods and shunting railway wagons.

The eastern tunnel is Grade II listed. It starts in Stables Market and connects with a large area of basement storage of brick arched construction that extends under the forecourt of the Interchange Warehouse. It emerges at ground level in Gilbeys Yard in a building forming part of 30 Oval Road. There is no similar structure elsewhere unless one counts the horse tunnels associated with canal towpaths.

At 30 Oval Road the developer, Mandrake Properties, has had approval to demolish the staircase leading from the horse tunnel to ground level as part of a new office and housing development, and to block up the tunnels. There appears to have been no consideration of the listed status of the structure, and the loss of the tunnel would be a major blow to the proposed Camden Railway Heritage Trail. This will include the Primrose Hill tunnel east portals, the Roundhouse, Stables, Camden Lock, Interchange Building, Stationary Winding Engine House and a compex of vaults, arches and horse tunnels. However, Robert O'Hara, architect for the developer, said the firm was aware that the tunnels were listed but that they would not be touched. He stated: 'We are not doing anything that was not in the planning approval last year. The entrance will be built over but the tunnels will not be touched.'

In December 2006 Peter Darley of the recently formed Camden Railway Heritage Trust wrote to English Heritage begging it to do 'all within its power' to prevent the loss of the tunnels. A spokeswoman for English Heritage said that, at the time the planning application was submitted, it had not known of the tunnels' proximity or of their distinctive architecture. English Heritage has written to Camden Council's conservation department calling for further negotiations with the developer to prevent the tunnels being blocked up. A Camden press official admitted that the tunnels were not mentioned in the planning application, adding 'We hold our hands up and apologise about it'.






Exit to street level,gated


lots of workers guff down here,couldn't close the old doors as they are stuck fast



Looking up to street level

And back to the canal