Web
Analytics
Report - - Camden Catacombs East Section - September 2020 | Underground Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Camden Catacombs East Section - September 2020


lpphevs

Wasteland Wanderer
28DL Full Member
873688




THE EXPLORE

So we began blowing up an inflatable canoe on the side of Regents Canal footpath much to the confusion and amazement of passers by. When it was finally ready, we hopped in and nearly got crushed by a large tourist boat why proceeded to tell us 'we were on the wrong side', despite having seen boats such as his doing the very same. Suddenly, we slipped out of view into a sudden transition of environments. Emerging into this felt like entering the grim world of Robert Downey Jr.'s Sherlock Victorian London complete with rubbish-filled barges, still hidden underfoot probably along with some rare surviving breed of Cholera. From within these old stable tunnels connecting various railway tracks; including the evocatively-named Rat 'Ole, the sounds of the outside world could be heard within reach as cars drove overhead and families continued their days out. We didn't have too long as the parking only lasted 2hrs, but it took us the first hour to get set and get in. Floating around in the stinking stagnant dark felt like forever, trying to avoid detection by a restaurant worker launching rubbish into a barge wasn't easy, in fact we think he clocked us but didn't care. It was a surprise we even clocked the access. At one point I hopped onto a floating platform, which suddenly started tilting sideways into the water. Quickly jumping back into our craft, we pushed through sludge to finally reach our rather small but good-enough boarding point.

After roping-up the boat and hoping it didn't get squashed by the floating hulk next to it, we slipped into the network. We first headed for Horse Tunnel, which didn't go particularly far but looked truly ancient. At one end we heard pedestrians and even a train pass, sounding a lot closer than they were. Up above, the vents provided a futile glimpse into the world outside, and the sounds of cars driving overhead could be heard. After struggling with the autofocus on my new ultrawide lens (which as I soon realised was incompatible), I managed to scrape together some free-hand shots before we crossed an area of electrical boxes near to our boarding point. This is when we realised how vast the vaulted cellar was - you could've spent ages down there. But this was no time for light painting, our only transport back out of the hell hole looked precariously close to being punctured or stuck - plus heaven forbid, a potential parking fine. We got some snaps, had a quick walk, and decided to GTFO. Despite being long-time explorers this was our first illicit adventure within Central London - just as blatant as we'd assumed, and just as worth it. When coming back out we were greeted by cheers of prosecco and craft beer drinkers as we re-emerged down the canal. They thought us amateurs had gone for a 30-minute paddle In a new canoe and found it too much. They had no idea.

THE HISTORY

Plenty of good historical descriptions out there, and other posts including @LashedLlama 's recent attempt. But long storey short this was built in the mid 19th century and was not for storage of the deceased but a stable for horses used to shunt railway wagons. It connects up (historically) to several railway tunnels including the old Rat 'Ole tunnel in the western section which we didn't reach. Gonna just stress how much I love that name, back then they said it how it was. The vaulted areas were later used for storage, and parts of Horse Tunnel houses some form of wiring or pipes old and new as well as what might've been a generator functioning behind a locked door. Large sections of basements and vaults were demolished in the 80s and 90s hence the separation of the tunnels which seem to lead to nowhere today.

873689


873690


873691


873692


873693


873694


873695


873696


873697


873698


873699


873700


873701


873702


873703


873704
 
Last edited:

Wevsky

A Predisposed Tourist
Regular User
Ah there it is, Nice reportage mate , meant to get round to this years ago after a walk about here, but sadly 8 years or so on still not, so nice to see whats still doable down here
 

lpphevs

Wasteland Wanderer
28DL Full Member
Ah there it is, Nice reportage mate , meant to get round to this years ago after a walk about here, but sadly 8 years or so on still not, so nice to see whats still doable down here
Cheers! As much as its a bit of a faff it's fairly straightforward, thankfully doesn't seem to have changed much these days despite all the sections that were once demolished
 

PaulT2020

28DL Member
28DL Member
View attachment 873688



THE EXPLORE

So we began blowing up an inflatable canoe on the side of Regents Canal footpath much to the confusion and amazement of passers by. When it was finally ready, we hopped in and nearly got crushed by a large tourist boat why proceeded to tell us 'we were on the wrong side', despite having seen boats such as his doing the very same. Suddenly, we slipped out of view into a sudden transition of environments. Emerging into this felt like entering the grim world of Robert Downey Jr.'s Sherlock Victorian London complete with rubbish-filled barges, still hidden underfoot probably along with some rare surviving breed of Cholera. From within these old stable tunnels connecting various railway tracks; including the evocatively-named Rat 'Ole, the sounds of the outside world could be heard within reach as cars drove overhead and families continued their days out. We didn't have too long as the parking only lasted 2hrs, but it took us the first hour to get set and get in. Floating around in the stinking stagnant dark felt like forever, trying to avoid detection by a restaurant worker launching rubbish into a barge wasn't easy, in fact we think he clocked us but didn't care. It was a surprise we even clocked the access. At one point I hopped onto a floating platform, which suddenly started tilting sideways into the water. Quickly jumping back into our craft, we pushed through sludge to finally reach our rather small but good-enough boarding point.

After roping-up the boat and hoping it didn't get squashed by the floating hulk next to it, we slipped into the network. We first headed for Horse Tunnel, which didn't go particularly far but looked truly ancient. At one end we heard pedestrians and even a train pass, sounding a lot closer than they were. Up above, the vents provided a futile glimpse into the world outside, and the sounds of cars driving overhead could be heard. After struggling with the autofocus on my new ultrawide lens (which as I soon realised was incompatible), I managed to scrape together some free-hand shots before we crossed an area of electrical boxes near to our boarding point. This is when we realised how vast the vaulted cellar was - you could've spent ages down there. But this was no time for light painting, our only transport back out of the hell hole looked precariously close to being punctured or stuck - plus heaven forbid, a potential parking fine. We got some snaps, had a quick walk, and decided to GTFO. Despite being long-time explorers this was our first illicit adventure within Central London - just as blatant as we'd assumed, and just as worth it. When coming back out we were greeted by cheers of prosecco and craft beer drinkers as we re-emerged down the canal. They thought us amateurs had gone for a 30-minute paddle In a new canoe and found it too much. They had no idea.

THE HISTORY

Plenty of good historical descriptions out there, and other posts including @LashedLlama 's recent attempt. But long storey short this was built in the mid 19th century and was not for storage of the deceased but a stable for horses used to shunt railway wagons. It connects up (historically) to several railway tunnels including the old Rat 'Ole tunnel in the western section which we didn't reach. Gonna just stress how much I love that name, back then they said it how it was. The vaulted areas were later used for storage, and parts of Horse Tunnel houses some form of wiring or pipes old and new as well as what might've been a generator functioning behind a locked door. Large sections of basements and vaults were demolished in the 80s and 90s hence the separation of the tunnels which seem to lead to nowhere today.

View attachment 873689

View attachment 873690

View attachment 873691

View attachment 873692

View attachment 873693

View attachment 873694

View attachment 873695

View attachment 873696

View attachment 873697

View attachment 873698

View attachment 873699

View attachment 873700

View attachment 873701

View attachment 873702

View attachment 873703

View attachment 873704
Awesome pics and great report. Nice one guys.
 

lpphevs

Wasteland Wanderer
28DL Full Member
For those interested here's a short film made of the trip by my fellow explorer. (Ps its not clickbaity, for self promotion or in the 'goontuber' style - the focus remains on the place)

 
Last edited:

Top