Thursday, December 20, 2007

Williamson's Tunnels

The following information was sent by a reader named Lara, who first learned of this mysterious site while living overseas. Thanks again, Lara!

Beneath Liverpool, England, lie miles of underground passages, chambers and caverns hacked out of solid sandstone. They were built in the 19th century by Joseph Williamson (1769-1840), a rich and eccentric tobacco merchant who was known to Liverpudlians as the "Mole of Edge Hill" or the "King of Edge Hill."

Located in the Edge Hill district in Liverpool, the tunnels were started in 1806. By the time work ended following Williamson's death, the passages featured highly crafted arches lined with intricate brickwork, buttresses and spiral staircases cut out of stone.

No one knows why Williamson built the tunnels. The most plausible explanation is that he wanted to create jobs for unemployed veterans of the Napoleonic wars. But many people don't believe that the answer could be so simple. Some have suggested that Williamson was preparing for Armageddon. Others think the mysterious passageways were used for secret activities. And there are a few who claim that the eccentric Mr. Williamson merely built them as follies. A more recent theory suggests that the tunnels served the purpose of land reclamation.

Williamson's tunnels lay largely untouched and forgotten for over 150 years. But now the "largest subterranean folly in the world" is open to the public. However, discoveries continue to be made. Recently, a "Triple Decker Tunnel" was uncovered, and no one knows what might lie inside the tunnels and chambers that remain filled with Victorian rubble.

The FoWT ( Friends of Williamson's Tunnels) are trying to rescue and renovate this fantastic and mysterious underground world. You can visit their website for more information and a virtual tour!

(Below: Mr. Williamson himself.)


Anonymous rage said...

(first coment!) WOW!

12:28 PM  
Blogger Spring said...

Cool! *sigh* I live in an old neighborhood, but theres no tunnels underneath! Hmph.

12:52 PM  
Anonymous Hazel said...

First comment! (I think)

12:57 PM  
Anonymous Nellie said...

*sigh* All these underground places and not ONE of them the Shadow City.=[

1:47 PM  
Blogger Ariana said...

I don't have a link, but I bet you've heard of this: The Cappadocian underground cities, the most well known is derinkuyu(It's even mentioned in the first Kiki Strike!)Some people believe they were dug out by aliens and the tunnels are a link to the alien world. It seems like something that you would be interested in.

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Patsee said...

[i]That's[/i] where we should hold our Kiki Strike convention.

5:21 PM  
Blogger International Mastermind said...

Hey, Y'all. Those are cool! That guy looks pretty relaxed!

I am reading The first Kiki book for like, the fifth time. I have been reading excerpts to my dad, who has recently become a Harry Potter finatic. So has my first grade sister. I can't wait to introduce her to Kiki Strike and the Irregulars...

6:05 PM  
Anonymous Hazel said...

Um.. ok, so I wasn't the first. *blushes*

7:49 PM  
Anonymous same ananymous said...

I am 9..... Pleas don't get mad at me
I had a dearem ang you all got mad at me=[

6:16 AM  
Blogger Spring said...

Ananka, have you seen any camels around NYC lately? Look at this:
javascript:openPopup('', 'popup', 800, 635);

10:29 AM  
Blogger Spring said...

OK.... I think both links work, but this works better:

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Lara said...

YAY!!! thanks for posting that, Ananka. cant wait to visit it when i go back!!

12:59 PM  
Blogger ookamishinzui said...

I'm trying very hard to get my sister to read Kiki Strike, but she won't, but I recomended it to my friend, she actually read it(she almost never reads any of the books that I say are good) and she loved it and SHE recomends it to everybody who asks for a book to read (just like me)

6:31 PM  
Anonymous ananka said...

Ariana: Yep, that's another place that's really interesting. I have some fantastic pictures I've been meaning to post!

Patsee: I agree!

IM: Thanks for spreading the word. Hope it still holds up on your 5th reading.

SameAnonymous: Who's mad?

Spring: That's great! Somehow I managed to miss them. But I love the video.

Lara: Thanks again!

Ookamishinzui: (Great name!) Thanks for spreading the word, too. Hope your sister comes around.

8:20 PM  

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