SUBTERRANEAN NEWCASTLE - Victoria Tunnel, Quayside Railway Tunnel, and all aspects of 'Newcastle under the surface' - Page 4 - SkyscraperCity
 

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Old January 26th, 2011, 04:27 PM   #61
Steve Ellwood
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Tunnels in the Area

Over the years I've heard so many 'tales' about tunnels running underneath Tyneside that you would think we were a region of moles!

Thing that i always keep in mind is that to build a tunnel, expense and man hours required, you have to have a REAL reason for it.

Here are some that I've heard and that I can recall:

1. CENTRAL POST OFFICE - opposite St Nicholas's Cathedral - there IS a tunnel linking the Post Office to the Central station for the movement of mail in days gone by! If I remember correctly there was also a miniature railway in this tunnel.

2. Tunnel 'alleged' to run from MOOT HALL down to the QUAYSIDE for the purpose of moving convicts to waiting ships for transportation to the Colonies. Again this is one that I personally don't believe in as you would have to look at the engineering skills required to build a tunnel in that steep terrain and also ask yourself why you would need this for a quick march in shackles down CASTLE STAIRS.

3. CUSTOMS HOUSE - I have heard from a few different people that a Tunnel exists between this location and GATESHEAD. Suppose you would have to ask yourself for what purpose would you have a Tunnel linking both sides of the Tyne at that point. Unless of course the Tunnel carries power supplies/utilities? - there is such a Tunnel further down stream in the Howdon area that carried utilities under the river.

4. TYNEMOUTH PRIORY - This one is alleged to link up with DENTON HALL (I've even heard it goes as far as HEXHAM) and was an escape route for the Monks. I think of all of these types of claims this one takes the biscuit.

5. VICTORIA TUNNEL - I've been asked on a few occasions where the spur from the VT to the BLAKELAW and KENTON BUNKERS is, yes some folk believe that the bunkers were linked to the VT.

Would be interested in any other 'alleged' tunnels
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Old January 26th, 2011, 05:28 PM   #62
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There was allegedly a tunnel that ran from Bourgognes pub to St Andrews Church.
And Kittys Drift that ran from East kenton to the Tyne just west of Scotswood village.
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Old January 26th, 2011, 08:08 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Ellwood View Post
Here's the Southern end of the Quayside Branch Line where it comes out onto Newcastle's Quayside - ROPERY BANK. In modern day terms this is roughly where the turning circle is in the road QUAYSIDE - beneath St Ann's Church.
Found this photo of the Quayside Branch line Quayside tunnel entrance on the Sine website.
image hosted on flickr

Photo from www.Sine.ncl.ac.uk

The building in the background with the tall chimney is/was (the Engine House on Steve Ellwood's map?)
image hosted on flickr

P&T Image Archive, NCC

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Last edited by Newcastle Historian; February 7th, 2011 at 10:39 AM.
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Old January 26th, 2011, 09:18 PM   #64
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Good find

Helps to pinpoint the location on Google maps
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Old January 26th, 2011, 10:49 PM   #65
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A little comparison, using Google Earth's historic imagery

1946



2008



comparison



It is not wholly accurate due to the slightly differings from which the pictures were taken, so very very hard to line up accurately, but the tunnel entrance appears to be almost due south of the eastern end of the church and slightly to the east of the turning circle.
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Old January 26th, 2011, 10:53 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham56 View Post
I would guess the wagon is to remove spoil during the excavation work to construct the shelter entrance.
That answers that then!
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Old January 26th, 2011, 11:17 PM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Ellwood View Post
Over the years I've heard so many 'tales' about tunnels running underneath Tyneside that you would think we were a region of moles!

Thing that i always keep in mind is that to build a tunnel, expense and man hours required, you have to have a REAL reason for it.

Here are some that I've heard and that I can recall:

1. CENTRAL POST OFFICE - opposite St Nicholas's Cathedral - there IS a tunnel linking the Post Office to the Central station for the movement of mail in days gone by! If I remember correctly there was also a miniature railway in this tunnel.

2. Tunnel 'alleged' to run from MOOT HALL down to the QUAYSIDE for the purpose of moving convicts to waiting ships for transportation to the Colonies. Again this is one that I personally don't believe in as you would have to look at the engineering skills required to build a tunnel in that steep terrain and also ask yourself why you would need this for a quick march in shackles down CASTLE STAIRS.

3. CUSTOMS HOUSE - I have heard from a few different people that a Tunnel exists between this location and GATESHEAD. Suppose you would have to ask yourself for what purpose would you have a Tunnel linking both sides of the Tyne at that point. Unless of course the Tunnel carries power supplies/utilities? - there is such a Tunnel further down stream in the Howdon area that carried utilities under the river.

4. TYNEMOUTH PRIORY - This one is alleged to link up with DENTON HALL (I've even heard it goes as far as HEXHAM) and was an escape route for the Monks. I think of all of these types of claims this one takes the biscuit.

5. VICTORIA TUNNEL - I've been asked on a few occasions where the spur from the VT to the BLAKELAW and KENTON BUNKERS is, yes some folk believe that the bunkers were linked to the VT.

Would be interested in any other 'alleged' tunnels


No 1 sounds very interesting! Perhaps not on a par with London's Post Office railway but cool nonetheless. Is the existence of this tunnel the reason they haven't sold the Post Office building?

The rumours of tunnels are a part of folklore in a way, the slightest rumour or bit of evidence leads to people being convinced there's a tunnel. For example seeing old cellars or foundations when roads are dug up or buildings demolished often leads to the belief of tunnels.

You mentioned Hexham and as an inhabitant I can confirm that there are quite a few old beliefs of tunnels usually radiating from the Abbey. I think a lot of these come from excavated cellars, especially from the houses bordering the old graveyard that front onto Market St. I've heard the one about going to Tynemouth and yes it is laughable. Another very popular rumour was a tunnel from the Abbey to Acomb a village a couple of miles away. Unlikely and the reason escapes me!

Although some of these seemingly extravagant and unnecessary tunnels sound unlikely as such an expensive and complicated endeavour we shouldn't compare the quality of tunnel making to today's or even the Victorian age's. They could have existed and built fairly easily but been such shoddy examples that they were lethal and barely lasted. Remember that megalithic builders made tunnels in such things as long barrows, Newgrange etc.

Plus you have to remember that some rumours do turn out to have a bit of truth to them - the Crypt at Hexham Abbey was only rediscovered in the mid 1800s and this had tunnelled entrances from outside the church. Also in Edinburgh rumours of tunnels and underground vaults survived for years before they found the long forgotten Vaults blocked up under the South bridge in the late 1980s.

But rumours and tales of tunnels are like any other rumours and tales, once people have heard of one example or version of something anything they see or experience near them becomes connected or related to it, hence so many locations for Camelot, the lake where Excalibur ended up or even the resting place for Arthur (don't know why all those examples were Arthurian but there you go lol). So that could explain about that guy who posted a while ago about entrances to the VT near where he lived - they'd heard of the VT, saw a tunnel or entrance to something so wanted it to be the VT.

F
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Old February 6th, 2011, 08:34 PM   #68
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.
WEBSITES LISTING THREAD.


The ('Sticky') Websites Listing Thread, at the top of the forum, only contains ONE Website for The Victoria Tunnel.

It is in the following section (Section 09) of the thread . .

09 - PHOTOS: Local Photos, Local History & Local Interest Websites
https://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...3&postcount=10

and the one (Victoria Tunnel) website listed in that section, is . .

VICTORIA TUNNEL - TOWN MOOR TO RIVER TYNE
http://www.victoriatunnel.info/Introduction.html


Now that we have this thread dedicated to the Victoria Tunnel (and to the Quayside Railway Tunnel, etc) I have realised there are a number of people on here who know a lot about this subject.

So, I was wondering if any of you know of any other appropriate websites that are about, that I should/could add to our Websites Listing Thread?

Thanks.
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Old February 9th, 2011, 06:20 PM   #69
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So are there any other known or secret/rumoured subterranean artifacts in Newcastle or thereabouts?

F
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Old February 19th, 2011, 06:16 PM   #70
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Ouseburn Culvert

Quote:
Originally Posted by ferret88 View Post
So are there any other known or secret/rumoured subterranean artifacts in Newcastle or thereabouts?

F
One other former Air Raid Shelter in the Ouseburn Valley is of course the OUSEBURN CULVERT which runs from the North East side of WARWICK STREET in Sandyford to underneath BYKER BRIDGE.

The Culvert was constructed over the Ouse Burn to reclaim land which was intended for use as housing. It was constructed using the then "new" process called the "Hennebique" method of using ferro-concrete. Designed by L G Mouchel and Partners it is 2,060 feet in length and is able to handle some 984,000 cubic feet of water per minute.

The design and use of ferro-concrete allows the Culvert to withstand not only the weight of the infill above (100 feet deep) but also the traffic that uses Warwick Street.

The ferro-concrete process involves a combination of concrete and steel rods. Mouchel is also responsible for the construction of the former Co-op Warehouse on the Quayside, now the Malmaison Hotel and the Spanish City Dome (the Dome at the Spanish City used the Hennebique Ferro Concrete system, taking only 82 days to construct it is only six inches in thickness. Evidently this was the first entertainment complex to be built in this way in the World. One odd fact is that prior to the building being opened it was "tested" by having 150 workmen marching up and down it).

The original design profile of the Culvert was semi-parabolic and it's internal dimensions are 30 feet wide and 20 feet high. I say "originally" as there were modifications carried out during its time as an air raid shelter in World War 2.

Of course ferro-concrete process was actually invented in Newcastle by William Boutland Wilkinson (1819-1902). He lived on Ellison Place and built an out-house from ferro-concrete well before anyone else. Unfortunately that building was demolished in the 1960's during construction of the Newcastle Polytechnic. It is claimed that Wilkinson failed to take out any patents on his invention and this is why he isn't proclaimed as its inventor, that particular accolade going to Frenchman Joseph Monier.

The Culvert was converted into a Communal Air Raid Shelter during World War 2 and was considered to be ‘up market’ in its facilities when compared to the VICTORIA TUNNEL SHELTER. The conversion into a Shelter took place in 1939 and involved the construction of a concrete platform built over the river and the space above was divided into smaller rooms. It had seating, bunks, library, a stage area for holding musical events, an office for the ARP wardens, an infirmary and even a youth club and space for church services. It also had washing facilities and even a canteen operated by Mr V. L. Holland. It was designed to give shelter to 500 people.

In 1941, a fracture, 100 feet long, appeared and part of the shelter had to be closed and during 1943 the grand sum of 15 was agreed by the City Council for the building of a library and reading room.

Having looked at the Council Minutes of the period it is clear that the Council had a bit of a falling out with Holland over the matter of an electrical power cable to the canteen. Evidently Holland had agreed to pay the Council a pound a week for the electricity but appears to have reneged on the agreement. A compromise appears to have been made in November 1941 when Holland agreed to lower his prices on the understanding that he didn't have to pay for the power cable. The revised price list was tea - 1 and a half pence per cup, cocoa and coffee per cup - 2 and a half pence and sandwiches - 2 and half pence each.

Here are couple of photographs showing the entrances to the OUSEBURN CULVERT - the first is under BYKER BRIDGE and the second is from the WARWICK STREET end:





There are some photographs of the interior of the current day building on the Urban Explorers web site @ http://www.28dayslater.co.uk/forums/...ead.php?t=8847
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Old February 19th, 2011, 08:51 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Ellwood View Post
One other former Air Raid Shelter in the Ouseburn Valley is of course the OUSEBURN CULVERT which runs from the North East side of WARWICK STREET in Sandyford to underneath BYKER BRIDGE.

The Culvert was constructed over the Ouse Burn to reclaim land which was intended for use as housing. It was constructed using the then "new" process called the "Hennebique" method of using ferro-concrete. Designed by L G Mouchel and Partners it is 2,060 feet in length and is able to handle some 984,000 cubic feet of water per minute.

The design and use of ferro-concrete allows the Culvert to withstand not only the weight of the infill above (100 feet deep) but also the traffic that uses Warwick Street.

The ferro-concrete process involves a combination of concrete and steel rods. Mouchel is also responsible for the construction of the former Co-op Warehouse on the Quayside, now the Malmaison Hotel and the Spanish City Dome (the Dome at the Spanish City used the Hennebique Ferro Concrete system, taking only 82 days to construct it is only six inches in thickness. Evidently this was the first entertainment complex to be built in this way in the World. One odd fact is that prior to the building being opened it was "tested" by having 150 workmen marching up and down it).

The original design profile of the Culvert was semi-parabolic and it's internal dimensions are 30 feet wide and 20 feet high. I say "originally" as there were modifications carried out during its time as an air raid shelter in World War 2.

Of course ferro-concrete process was actually invented in Newcastle by William Boutland Wilkinson (1819-1902). He lived on Ellison Place and built an out-house from ferro-concrete well before anyone else. Unfortunately that building was demolished in the 1960's during construction of the Newcastle Polytechnic. It is claimed that Wilkinson failed to take out any patents on his invention and this is why he isn't proclaimed as its inventor, that particular accolade going to Frenchman Joseph Monier.

The Culvert was converted into a Communal Air Raid Shelter during World War 2 and was considered to be ‘up market’ in its facilities when compared to the VICTORIA TUNNEL SHELTER. The conversion into a Shelter took place in 1939 and involved the construction of a concrete platform built over the river and the space above was divided into smaller rooms. It had seating, bunks, library, a stage area for holding musical events, an office for the ARP wardens, an infirmary and even a youth club and space for church services. It also had washing facilities and even a canteen operated by Mr V. L. Holland. It was designed to give shelter to 500 people.
A couple of photos of the Ouseburn Culvert. One under construction, from P&T Image Archive, NCC. Steve, does the first photo show the conrete platform (outside the enclosed culvert though)?

image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr
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Old February 19th, 2011, 08:55 PM   #72
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Stunning picture :0
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Old February 19th, 2011, 11:37 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GBDT View Post
A couple of photos of the Ouseburn Culvert. One under construction, from P&T Image Archive, NCC. Steve, does the first photo show the conrete platform (outside the enclosed culvert though)?
All of that part is under the stables outdoor riding paddock but I've always assumed the photograph shows how folk would access the Shelter from the Southern end. Lovely photograph showing how children used to make their own play things
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Old February 20th, 2011, 05:30 PM   #74
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Jesmond Old Cemetery Crypts

Following on from the theme of Newcastle's subterranean buildings I thought I would give mention to the CRYPTS at JESMOND OLD CEMETERY.



I made a visit during the 2002 Heritage Open Days when the Crypt at Jesmond Old Cemetery was opened to the public.

The Crypt or Catacombs are beneath the Chapels at the main entrance to the Cemetery and at the time were being used by Tyne & Wear Archaeology Department for storage purposes.

There are some 22 shelves within the Crypt, which enabled coffins to be stored prior to burial. This was not a Crypt for the final resting place of bodies. Indeed one theory is that bodies were secured within the Crypt for up to 10 days prior to burial, thus allowing decomposition to take place, this then put off any grave robbers from disinterring the bodies from their final resting place.

There is also evidence that the Crypts may have been used as air raid shelters during World War 2.

More photographs from the visit @ http://www.fototime.com/inv/500EAFD1921D3BF
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Old February 20th, 2011, 07:14 PM   #75
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Re: The Ouseburn Culvert photo - I presume that's Shieldfield on the right and Heaton would be on the left (i.e. we're looking South in that photo from somewhere at the very bottom edge of Sandyford)?
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Old February 20th, 2011, 07:30 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by wj_gibson View Post
Re: The Ouseburn Culvert photo - I presume that's Shieldfield on the right and Heaton would be on the left (i.e. we're looking South in that photo from somewhere at the very bottom edge of Sandyford)?
If you mean my photograph - yes that's right - location is at the West end of Stratford Grove West.
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Old February 20th, 2011, 08:15 PM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wj_gibson View Post
Re: The Ouseburn Culvert photo - I presume that's Shieldfield on the right and Heaton would be on the left (i.e. we're looking South in that photo from somewhere at the very bottom edge of Sandyford)?
If you mean MY photo (the black and white one showing the culvert before being covered), then again it is looking south. The railway bridge is closer to the camera than the road bridge.

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Old February 20th, 2011, 08:17 PM   #78
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Mailing Pottery, Ford Street

There's another tunnel in the Ouseburn, albeit a very short one. It runs under Ford Street and joined two sites for Maling Pottery on either side of the street. The site to the north is now Shepherds Scrapyard, and the site to the south is the former Ince Bros. factory now occupied by Raskal woodworking.

The tunnel was used to transport partially finished (and delicate) pottery from one compound to another. It was also used as an air raid shelter for workers in the area in WWII.

It was blocked up shortly after WWII, but was reopened when there was a planning application for student accommodation on the Ince building site in 2007. I had a brief look in and took some photo's - I'll try to dig them out and put them on here.

From my recollection, the tunnel is just to the east of the articulated lorry parked on Ford Street on this google aerial photo:

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&so...02248&t=h&z=20
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Old February 20th, 2011, 08:22 PM   #79
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If you mean MY photo (the black and white one showing the culvert before being covered...
I knew you worked for the Council for a long time, but didn't realise you were there when the culvert was constructed.
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Old February 20th, 2011, 11:27 PM   #80
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I knew you worked for the Council for a long time, but didn't realise you were there when the culvert was constructed.
Oooooh! Just as well I don't work there anymore or else you'll never get any work done!

BTW the latest redundancies from Planning technical support might do that anyway!

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