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Report - - Leigham Tunnel, Plymouth, June 2018 | Underground Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Leigham Tunnel, Plymouth, June 2018


eddsup

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Leigham Tunnel also known as Cann tunnel was an old tramway tunnel built early 1820’s.
It is 620 yards long and pretty straight. In WW2 it would of been used as an air raid shelter to hold 3000 people. I didn’t get a great picture but at half way point was a couple of small rooms that would of been the medical bays. After WW2 it was used by the Royal Navy as a storage location. And in the 1950’s it was noted in the central register of underground accommodation by the government as a deep shelter in the event of nuclear war.
There is an access shaft, now blocked off, but this is how it would of been constructed, they would of dug a shaft down and then dug outwards to build the tunnel.
At one end of the tunnel was old car parts, all rusted now but someone for a time used that end of the tunnel as there garage until is was permanently blocked off, hence the car parts there.

I apologise for the pictures, it was spur of the moment when I went in, I didn’t have my good light or camera. Its worth a second trip.

West Entrance

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At the beginning
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Looking back at the entrance
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Trollies
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Looking back again, a bit further along
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Calcification
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One of the access shafts looking up from the bottom. Ladders quite rusted but still ok to go up although very wet and muddy.
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Looking down. This was the first level, there was another set, same size in length but blocked at the top with huge concrete slab.
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A smaller access tunnel that ran parallel to the main tunnel.
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Looking ahead this is the halfway point. Here would of been the medical bays but my pictures where poor so have not included them. Sorry.
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Asbestos sheeting smashed up.
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You can see the layer of asbestos sheeting that would of lined the top of tunnel. The last third of the tunnel still has this. The rest of it has been ripped down by people going in tunnel.
From this point on you cannot stand up straight. Had to bend over to carry on.
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Another access shaft.
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Blast door
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The other end, completely sealed off.
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Picture looking out through the gap in the door.
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Adzitude

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Wow mate, really good, had no idea anything like that was round here! Top job
 

Chess

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
My uncle lived in Bicton Close and as a kid 43 years ago he pointed out the portal, it's taken time but I have eventually got to see inside. Thanks.
 

le bleirot

28DL Member
28DL Member
Good job. Very local indeed to me. Impressed you a) got in, b) slogged all the way to the end!

fun facts:
1) because records from that time are a bit poor its impossible to prove definitely, but this might be the oldest or at least 2nd or third oldest railway tunnel in the whole world. Plenty of canal tunnels are older, but this railway predates steam rail completely being built in the early 1820's and horse drawn throughot its life -well the bottom horse drawn bit closed and top section from Yelverton to Princetown later became steam and part of main rail network after the Plym valley line (now a sustans trail) was built and connected with it.
2) Loads of buildings in London (esp.Whitehall) are made of stone that was quarried on Dartmoor and came through this very tunnel on its way to Plymouth and then by ship to London -again pre-railways this was easiest way to move things that heavy around.
3) The slab/cap at the top of the shaft is easy to spot from the footbridge over Novorossysk Road. co-ordinates:
50.407553, -4.095678
 

DaveFM

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
It must have been cramped with 3000 people in there! That asbestos is actually asbestos cement by look of it, used a lot for garage roofs, not as dangerous as pure asbestos.
 

Yorrick

I call bullshit!
Regular User
Not seen this one before so well done!

because records from that time are a bit poor its impossible to prove definitely, but this might be the oldest or at least 2nd or third oldest railway tunnel in the whole world. Plenty of canal tunnels are older, but this railway predates steam rail completely being built in the early 1820's
I think the oldest are Fritchley, Derbyshire, where the line was laid in 1793, Stodhart in Derbyshire, 1796 and Middlebere in Dorset, 1807.
 

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