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The Elusive

UK Williamsons' crazyness (VISITED 2013)-2013

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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!.

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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.

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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 ...

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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.

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Arches every where...

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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.

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All the stuffs found inthe excavation process...

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

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

tunnel here..

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tunnel there...

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a hole here...

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Every hole a photographed i got in....

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Finally Underground banquet hall....

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

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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 :)

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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 :)

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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 :)

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