Report - St Lawrence Railway Tunnel - Isle of Wight - March 2015

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28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Oct 31, 2013
I managed to take a little time out of the recent family holiday to check out this tunnel... By total coincidence it was located 3 minutes walk from our holiday cottage which to this day my wife thinks I did on purpose!


The St Lawrence tunnel was on the Ventnor West Branch line, and opened in 1897. It operated until the line was closed in 1952. Since its closure the tunnel was used as a mushroom farm for a number of years and since then, the northern part was used as a storage site. It now sits abandoned.

The explore

This was my first solo underground experience (I couldn't convince the wife and baby to come!). I started at the northern portal which I was surrounded by a large amount of junk (including a toilet) as well as being enclosed with the remnants of a poly tunnel (which I assume was related to the mushroom farm). Entering the tunnel, it was surprisingly dry, there was just an awful lot of stuff scattered around. Every few meters on the wall were telephones and light bulbs (again relating back to the mushroom farm). I had a minor freak out about half way down the tunnel when everything was silent apart from the rustling of the poly tunnel giving me a real sense that I wasn't alone. I pressed on, and eventually I saw some light poking around the corner which brought with it a mix of relief and sadness. It was a really great tunnel, but next time I shall insist the wife comes too!

Hope you enjoy the pics.


The southern dumping zone (portal)


Just stepping into the entrance


One of the mysterious phones/light bulbs


This excited me a lot! It was a bag of mushroom compost.


Approaching the southern portal


Southern portal exterior

Thanks for reading

Last edited:
Likes: Morrisey

The Lone Ranger

Safety is paramount!
Staff member
Good effort getting done :thumb

I'd never plan a family holiday around possible explores, and I'm not currently trying to find as many places on France's Atlantic Coast near good campsites at the moment (honest) ;)


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Oct 31, 2013
I am sad I couldn't capture more of what the tunnel was like. I didn't realise just how good much my exploring buddies lenser is until it wasn't there and I was left trying to light paint with one step up from a maglight mini. And a cannabis farm in a railway tunnel? Sounds like a serious project!

Hope the family holiday planning goes well Lone Ranger! ;)

The Wombat

Mr Wombat
28DL Full Member
Oct 14, 2012
this is a nice report. Some unusual finds in the tunnel; and its quite quirky
And I like a holiday splore ;)


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Oct 19, 2013
Wakefield, West Yorkshire
Yeah you need a P7 or P7.2 at the very least , along with a tripod obviously:) and if it"s a badly sooted up one something better.
I used my head torch plus one each of the above last week due to the light absorption properties of the Soot deposits
Head torch below which is now cheap as chips lol

The Tunnel in question. Which was nerve racking as i had to wait for shall we say certain individuals to leave the area with their Pitbulls lol


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Oct 31, 2013
You are a braver man than I!

And it is my birthday soon - I think a head torch might have to be on the list!