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Home / 2014 / Liverpool - October 2014 / Joseph Williamson's Tunnels 11

This was an ad-hoc visit while I was looking at the old railways in the area. Joseph Williamson (1769 - 1840) was a local businessman and an eccentric. He bought land in the Edge Hill area of Liverpool to put good quality housing on it (he himself lived there) but it was riddled with quarry workings for the local sandstone. It seems that he started his "tunnels" by building arches over existing workings, but later he dug completely new tunnels under the area. Much of this was done by labourers as a form of job creation scheme. A Heritage Centre was opened in 2002, offering a museum and guided tours around part of the tunnels. Work on discovering and opening up tunnels is continuing. Many of them were filled with rubble or refuse and of course have been built over. One interesting tunnel to which access has not yet been found is a triple-decker which was cut across by the building in 1836 of the current Edge Hill - Lime Street railway cutting/tunnel; stone blocks show where the tunnels were, in amongst the cut stone of the railway cutting wall.