Report - - Putnal Field Canal Tunnel, Orleton, Herefordshire – August 2016 | Underground Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Putnal Field Canal Tunnel, Orleton, Herefordshire – August 2016

Bertie Bollockbrains

There is no pain
Regular User
A short 350yd canal tunnel lying on the derelict Leominster Canal, near to the village of Orleton on the border between Herefordshire and Shropshire.

Visited with @Oort


The Leominster Canal was a short 18 mile canal that had a number of tunnels, 16 locks and three aqueducts. The canal suffered from engineering and financial problems even before the canal opened and was a commercial disaster that never paid a dividend to the shareholders.

The canal partially opened in January 1794, with the remainder opening two years later. Coal from the collieries at Mamble was transported along the canal, however this was not sufficient to enable the canal to operate at a profit. In 1858 the Shrewsbury and Hereford Railway bought the canal. They subsequently drained most of the canal and used the land to build the Tenbury and Bewdley Railway.

The half mile section of the canal south of the Putnal Field tunnel is the only part of the canal that remains wet; but along the route of the canal lock-keeper cottages, traces of locks and an aqueduct over the river Rea can still be found.

The Leominster Canal had a much longer tunnel at Southnet (1250yds) which myself and Oort recced a few months ago. The west portal could not be found (and we did contact the landowner who also had no idea where this portal was). The east portal was found in a field and was discovered to be deep sticky mud reaching a roof-fall very quickly.


For this one we made use of HMS Boaty McBoatface, entering at the north portal. As the portal lies on private land, we had to be very discreet gearing up on the side of the road taking great care not to look suspicious to the passing traffic:

After dragging HMS Boaty McBoatface through the fields and over fences we found the portal lying amongst overgrown vegetation. It wasn’t easy getting the boat in!

First view looking in:

We paddled straight through the tunnel to the south portal which had been purposely back-filled:

We paddled back, this time taking photos. What was remarkable about this tunnel was firstly it’s small width and height (in places only about 2m wide and about 2-3m high) and secondly how cave-like large parts of the tunnel looked with numerous stalactites up to about 50cm in length:






Finally my servant dragged HMS Boaty McBoatface all the way back to the car allowing me to relax and enjoy a pleasant leisurely stroll in the countryside:
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Fear is the little death
Regular User
Jesus! Glad I didn't notice that shocking brickwork while we were in there! That was a good days mooching :thumb

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