As London’s underground Mail Rail is opened to the general public for the primary time, we unearth 10 extra little-known subterranean points of interest within the capital.
1. Greenwich & Woolwich Foot Tunnels
Atmospheric, early-Twentieth century tiled tunnels, two miles aside, working below the Thames and accessed by large lifts and spiral staircases. The Greenwich Tunnel is at present trialling use by cyclists (who use it anyway). Verify web site for carry closures.
See more: London tunnels open to public
2. The Silver Vaults, Chancery Lane
Affluent late Victorians used to retailer their valuables right here, however because the Second World Warfare the underground vaults with their huge prison-style doorways have been utilized by silver sellers who should not solely welcoming however fantastically educated.
3. St Bride’s Crypt, Fleet Avenue
Superb post-war rebuild of Christopher Wren’s church, lengthy since adopted by Fleet Avenue journalists, with a fantastic crypt partly revealed by the Blitz. See the Saxon apse, Roman mosaic and printing exhibition. For those who’re fortunate, they could present you the ossuary.
4. Chislehurst Caves, close to Bromley
Labyrinth of interlinked tunnels burrowed into chalk 100 ft beneath Chislehurst, used over time for lime burning, brick making, munition and mushroom storage, shelter for as much as 15,000 folks within the Blitz and plenty of gigs, together with the Stones. Hourly excursions.
5. Brunel Museum Thames Tunnel, Rotherhithe
Descend the cavernous shaft dug for the world’s first sub-river tunnel from Rotherhithe to Wapping. It was a failure for Marc Brunel and his son Isambard, nevertheless it nonetheless carries the Tube, its candy little museum levels eccentric occasions and on Friday and Saturday nights the Midnight Apothecary serves cocktails within the backyard on prime of the shaft.
6. Churchill Warfare Rooms, Whitehall
This Imperial Warfare Museum offshoot is essentially the most well-known subterranean web site in London, however few of us knew it existed till the Eighties. A transformed authorities basement, hardly ever slept in by Churchill however continuously used for conferences, it appears fairly effectively because it did once they closed the doorways in August 1945. Atmospheric and at all times busy.
7. Guildhall Artwork Gallery Roman Amphitheatre, Metropolis of London
This second-century amphitheatre, constructed partly to entertain troops from the Roman fort on the Barbican, was rediscovered through the Eighties rebuild of the Metropolis’s very fantastic artwork gallery. It held 6,000 folks (Rome’s Colosseum held 80,000) – however sadly no lions.
8. Viaduct Tavern, Holborn
Pubs close to Newgate Gaol used to supply ‘Hanging Breakfasts’ – with views – within the nineteenth century. The Viaduct, a Victorian gin palace in its personal proper, has previous Newgate cells in its basement. If it’s quiet, workers are joyful to point out you. If not, there’s at all times the gin.
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9. Billingsgate Roman Home & Baths, Decrease Thames Avenue
It’s so thrilling strolling right into a dismal Seventies workplace block and discovering the stays of a rich Roman home and tub complicated within the basement. Search for the canine paw print on a tile and fantastic brickwork. Excavations proceed nevertheless it now opens for normal excursions.
10. The Vaults, Waterloo
By no means a uninteresting second within the gothical gloom below Waterloo Station, previously coffin storage for the Necropolis Railway. After a short reincarnation because the Previous Vic Tunnels, the Vaults host an eclectic vary of occasions, reached through taggers’ heaven Leake Avenue.