Report - - Brunswick Tunnel and Shelter, Harrogate, August 2018 | Underground Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Brunswick Tunnel and Shelter, Harrogate, August 2018


Regular User

Recently had a couple of spare hours in the area, so I decided that this was worth investigating, even though I thought it was unlikely to be accessible as there’s not been a report for a while. Although the location of the tunnel itself is easy to find online, actually working out how to reach the entrance is a bit of a task. However, my guesswork was more precise than I had expected and on arrival I quickly made use of the rather ‘residential’ access point and made my way down.


Brunswick tunnel was originally built as a train tunnel, but later reused as a WW2 Air Raid Shelter.

“George Hudson and the York and North Midland railway completed the line from Church Fenton in 1848. When it reached the site of what is now Harrogate's Hornbeam Park station, it veered left and then plunged under the 400 yard long Brunswick tunnel, before emerging on what is now the far side of the Leeds Road/Park Drive roundabout.

Here the line followed a discreet cutting before reaching Brunswick station, built opposite Trinity church, on Trinity road next to the stray. The only evidence the station was here these days is a plaque set in stone opposite the church.

The station was built here, because it was not allowed to cross the Stray, for fears of noise and smoke polluting the area. However attitudes had changed towards the railway by 1862 when the North Eastern railway arrived in the town and completed the new station where it still stands today. The branch through Brunswick tunnel and the station was then abandoned after only 14 years in operation.

During the Second World War the tunnel was converted into an air raid shelter with steps leading down to it from the Leeds road roundabout area. Workmen constructing the roundabout in the 1960's accidentally dug into the roof of the tunnel not knowing it was there.
The air raid shelter was abandoned by 1943. Today the entrance is filled in leaving no trace it was ever there”
History via: http://www.bbc.co.uk/northyorkshire/content/articles/2008/02/07/harrogate_tunnel_feature.shtml

The shelter itself is not the worlds best preserved example, being little more than a few brick walls, some broken benches and a staircase covered in graffiti. However, it’s not the kind of thing that you’re used to finding at the end of a train tunnel, and much of the graff seems to date from 70s and 80s (references to Bowie, Sham 69 and Toyah...)

The far end of the tunnel is directly underneath this roundabout, which gives you some idea of how residential the area now is...


The tunnel...








The shelter - the brick supports for missing benches can be seen on either side. The doorway at the far end leads to the stairs that would originally have led up to the shelter entrance, where the roundabout now stands.






Carry on up the stairs and the previous entrance has been backfilled with rubble. Round the corner you could just see another handrail peeping out.


Back down...



Looking out the other way towards my entrance point...


And back the way I came...


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Flaxenation of the G!!!
Regular User
that's a really cool find mate. it may lack features but is so unusual. Great pics :thumb


Regular User
As already mentioned a bit unusual :thumb
Yeah, definitely unusual!

Something I forgot to mention was the smell - it stunk of sewerage. This seems to be coming from something suspicious looking leaking into the tunnel near to the shelter, which then runs off through a hole in the ground. Not sure if it’s actually a broken sewer pipe nearby or just a more natural flow of water leaking through, but it certainly smells.


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Great shots and well lit, i knew its life as a rail tunnel was short lived, it looks in pretty good condition considering its age etc. I believe Harrogate has another rail tunnel Prospect Tunnel i had a wander in there many years ago but its far wetter than Brunswick.


Regular User
Great shots and well lit, i knew its life as a rail tunnel was short lived, it looks in pretty good condition considering its age etc. I believe Harrogate has another rail tunnel Prospect Tunnel i had a wander in there many years ago but its far wetter than Brunswick.
Cheers, and yes - Prospect looked nice too, but given my limited time in the area I picked this one as the potentially more interesting of the two. Footwear also a consideration, ha!