Jump to content
The Elusive

UK Williamsons' crazyness (VISITED 2013)-2013

Recommended Posts

This isnt your average explore; Its a people run underground discovery, fighting councils for every hole to explore, they have uncovered some fantastic artifacts. So many holes further on to the tunnels and even an underground banquet hall!.

10386227366_eab72bc332_z.jpg

Background.

Around 1805, Mr & Mrs Williamson moved into one of the Mason Street houses - a house which was to be their home for the rest of their lives. Williamson quickly set about building more properties. These houses were built with cellars, as most houses were at the time. However, it appears that in designing these properties Williamson decided that they should follow the fashion for having large gardens and orchards behind them.

10385555514_614da3550d_c.jpg

all thats left today...

Around 1806, with several houses under construction at once and the arches taking shape behind them, Williamson would have been employing a large gang of men. At this time, many healthy men of Liverpool would have been among the British troops battling against France as Napoleon Bonaparte sought to conquer Europe. At the back of each house was a certain amount of space but then the sandstone bed rock dropped about twenty feet, down to the same level as Smithdown Lane. To accommodate the gardens, Williamson had his men build brick arches that they could be extended onto. In this way, the gardens and orchards were built and, most significantly, the first parts of the tunnels had been put in place.

The manner in which matters developed from this point on is the subject of much 'chinese whispering' and even more speculation.

None of this is to discount any of the other theories about the tunnels' construction, nor that may the simple philanthropy theory transpire to be correct.

These include the suggestion that the Williamsons subscribed to an extremist religious sect which claimed that the world faced Armageddon several years hence.

Williamson therefore built the tunnels as a place into which he and his fellow believers could escape to avoid the catastrophe and emerge later to build a new city.

Fanciful though this theory appears, there are factors which lend it credence: at the time Liverpool was a hotbed of religious extremism, with any number of sects propounding such theories.

Secondly, it is known that Williamson was a religious man - a regular member of the congregation of St. Thomas', the church where he married. Thirdly, as stated above, he was very secretive about the tunnels, only allowing certain people to see inside the hidden parts of them. Finally, equipped with this theory today, one cannot help but notice the numerous gothic, chapel-like features that have survived in many parts of the tunnels ...

10385829895_832b01d6e7.jpg

In any case, the expansion of the labyrinth continued. By 1816 the Napoleonic Wars were effectively over. Soldiers returned to their home towns and began looking for work and, just as important, the home industries which supported the war effort suddenly had a lot less to do. Unemployment was rife and social support was only available on a scarce and informal basis.Williamson kept taking more and more men on. No doubt others left: through age, through finding a better job. Perhaps some were killed in the dangerous conditions: dark, dusty, noisy, cold in winter and hot in summer. The rock men worked with picks, shovels and barrows while the carpenters used axes and saws to build formers for the bricklayers to lay arches on. Under ground, the men worked by candlelight. Certainly some would have been injured, but they may have been kept on. There would always have been a need for storemen, counters, men to hand out the food and wages.

9955637476_c9e0e0d355.jpg9955598725_98ff81b2ee.jpg

Arches every where...

10385490434_4164fcc87f.jpg10385732684_9a9e4da14f.jpg

Williamson would often have his men perform apparently pointless duties. It is said that he would get a man to move a pile of rocks from one place to another and then get him to move them back again. In the parts of the tunnels accessible today there is evidence of tunnels being built and immediately bricked up again, alongside fine arches that lead nowhere. This supports the idea of keeping men busy simply to keep them in a job, but may equally lend mystery in the sense of keeping certain parts of the labyrinth secret. Perhaps Williamson was also deriving satisfaction from his growing domain - the power it gave him. The street had become fully occupied, with all the residents vetted by himself. The man that locals by now called the 'King of Edge Hill' was in control of his own kingdom.Williamson would often be seen above ground, conversing with those he had time for or bawling at those he didn't. Just as often he would disappear under ground, instructing the navigators where to direct their pick axes next.

9955470686_a9f165ede8_c.jpg

9955614696_ba62f12ef9_c.jpg

All the stuffs found inthe excavation process...

10386010455_9d2cc858cd_c.jpg

Wine cellar/ waterstorage/ original entrance? no one knows!

10385549245_728a66dcc7_z.jpg

Rumoured to be the "great tunnel" used by the army for over a century.

tunnel here..

9955602265_aa4e5db056_c.jpg

tunnel there...

9955708453_50cfdbde2e_c.jpg

a hole here...

10385613013_ba92b84ebc.jpg10385798583_c5912a4327.jpg

Every hole a photographed i got in....

10385477774_afd8eb7191.jpg10385670923_1a435a3c97.jpg

Finally Underground banquet hall....

10385297475_fdef7932c1_c.jpg

60ft underground banquet hall, No-one knows why and this place get bigger by the week!

10385573703_b3ebb8d547_c.jpg

10385390536_9cddec89b9.jpg

So to sum up; Williamson was bat shit crazy, very little is known about the why and when you get in there they finding holes and crannies that could be anything to go anywhere,

anyway linky http://www.williamsontunnels.com/

thanks for looking :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

exploring comes in all wonderful shapes and forms, this is no exception. Thank you for taking the time to document this and combined with the lovely read up about the tunnels and site :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is awesome, loving all the artefacts found, must be so much of this kind of thing all over the country waiting to be discovered! Cool to see it being excavated and not just filled in and forgotten.

Excellent report, cheers :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Similar Content

    • By Maniac
      As part of the 'stop talking about doing stuff, and actually go and do it' initiative, I Visited this place with DesertionPhotography.
      Atkinson Morley Hospital was established on its present site in 1869 and closed in 2003. It was noteable as being the first place in the UK to have a CT scanner installed in 1972, however that scanner is not one of the one's you can see there today; they are much more modern. In its day, Atkinson Morely was one of the most advanced brain surgery centres in the world.
      Interesting explore this one, as some of the place is quite trashed then other areas just round the corner are still mint.
      1. Your basic generic hospital corridor

      2.

      3.

      4.

      5. Operating theatre control board

      6. CT Scanner number 1.

      7. And control room for it.

      8. Buttons

      9.Little bit of kit left in the X-Ray room.

      10. X-Ray developing department (I think)

      11. CT Scanner number 2

      12.

      13. And control room

      14. Chapel, later used as a lecture theatre. Note security are using this for storing their boarding, tools and stepladders - they are based very close to this room.

      15. The wards are stripped bare.

      Thanks for looking!
      Maniac
    • By Maniac
      Might as well stick these up. Leybourne grange is a shadow of it's former self, actually to be blunt it's f**ked. There's still however a few bits and pieces to be seen. The Manor house is in a much worse state than I thought, and I think it's days are numbered, as with the rest of the complex it's just been left to decay.
      Just had a poke around he biggest accomodation block, and the manor house. There's a lot of the other villas still on site, but it didn't seem worth the effort to get inside them.
      1.

      2.

      3.

      4.

      5.

      6. Staircase is about the only part of the main building worth photographing. The rest is a soggy mess of rotton wood, and it smells baaaad!

      7. In the basement areas

      8.

      9.

      10.

      Thanks for Looking!
      M
    • By Maniac
      I wasn't going to bother with a report, but I think I had just about enough photos to make it worthwhile, so may as well. Being very bored at the weekend, myself, Frosty and Obscurity decided to take ourselves off here to have a looksie. It was also the first exploring outing of the new car, the first of many I'm sure!
      Our visit to this place was cut short by Mr security guard together with dog handler and badly trained dog, and a visit from the police who were very professional and just let us on our way. Becasue of this minor setback we only got to see inside the big main hospital building and didn't get to see the mortuary or other parts of the complex like we were hoping. However Harold Wood is more than a mortuary (even if the rest of it is quite knackered.)
      Harold wood hospital closed its doors in 2006, and plans were submitted for housing. As far as I can work out these plans are being objected to by local residents resulting in a long drawn out process and leaving the site in limbo at the moment.
      This place is used by Air Soft players, there were thousands of pellets everywhere inside the place, and players on another part of the site when we were in the building. It's a good job we exited that building when we did, as it was their next playing area and that could have hurt lots!
      We managed precisely one building before being busted, although it is the biggest one it is the least interesting.
      Anyway, have some pics!
      1. Outside

      2. Operating Theatres

      3.

      4. Corridors etc.

      5.

      6.

      7.

      8.

      9. There are some bits and pieces left.

      10.

      11.

      12.

      13.

      14.

      15. Mint Bathroom

      16. Very Pink.

      thanks for looking!
      Maniac.
    • By Maniac
      The Margate caves are situated at one end of Northdown Road in Margate, and run for a reasonable distance underneath the site of a one time vicarage and church, both of which were destroyed in WWII - and the site is now a car park. Origenally they are thought to have started out as a denehole, but have had many uses in their past including a prison with dungeons that can be seen today, a secret place of workship buring times of religious persecution, and as a hideout and storage for smugglers with passeges to and from the sea.
      The caves fell out of use at some point and got forgotten about until somewhere near the end of the 18th Century, a man named Francais Forster built a large house called Northumberland House, and around 1798 his gardener re-discovered the caves by accidently digging into them. A private entrance into the caves was made, and it was during this time that most of the murals and paintings you can see in the caves today were created. According to local history, the paintings were all done by a local artist named Brazier, who unfortunitely destroyed many interesting aspects of the caves contruction when the walls were smoothed over to create a surface for his work.
      In 1914 a new entrance was cut from the cellar of the vicarage, which is the entrance that is still used today. In the making of this entrance, one of the murals (The Thanet Hunt) was destroyed.
      The Caves were opened as a tourist attraction, but were eventually closed to the public in 2003 amid 'safety concerns' and the council has put forward plans to have them filled in and housing built on the land above on more than one occassion. Each time it's been blocked and thus they now sit there today doing nothing. (Quite honestly there's nothing unsafe about them they just need cleaning up a bit, but of course caves don't really make councils any money, but land for housing does! )
      There have been proposals recently to re-open the caves as part of the Margate Regenration scheme, but as far as I know at the moment no real progress has been made on this.
      Explored with Fortknox0, Obscurity, Frosty, Gizmo and Townie.







      Thank for Looking!
      Maniac.
    • By Maniac
      I wanted to go here more for personal reasons than anything else. My mum grew up in Chelmsford, and she and her mum and a lot of their friends all worked for Marconi at different times.
      Well what can I say it sure is a mess - pikeys and graffiti artists have been at play here. Having said that if you move away from the factory floor areas and into the other areas, it's not actually too bad. It's totally stripped, hardly anything to show what it's purpose was which is a shame.
      Also it's huge - it really is a pretty big site, you don't realise until you're inside. There must be 4 very large factory floors, with several other large spaces as well as a 5 story high admin block, which although very samey does get better as you go higher. Then there's the very oldest part right at the front.
      Visited on the spur of the moment with Obscurity and his misses - cheers for a good day people

      It has to be said, this bit's pretty bland


      Amazingly all the glass is intact, but the ceilings trashed.

      Old meets new


      There's a few bits left


      I love the roof of this building.



      Reception area was pretty good, shame it's no where near as neat as it was in earlier reports, but it could be worse.





      The main lobby of the oldest part.



      Although it was trashed in parts, I thought it was a pretty good - it would have been fantastic to have seen it in it's prime.
      Maniac.


Disclaimer

Oblivion State exists as an online forum to allow like minded individuals to share their experiences of Urban Exploration. We do not condone breaking and entering or other criminal activity and advise all members to read the FAQ articles about the forum and urban exploring in general. All posts are the responsibility of the original poster and all images remain copyright to the original photographer.

We would just like to thank

Forum user AndyK! from Behind Closed Doors for our rather excellent new logo.

All of our fantastic team of Moderators who volunteer their time to keep this place running smoothly.

All of our members for continuing to support Oblivion State by posting up the most awesome content. Thank you everyone!
×