In The Tunnels Under Bold Street.

What lies beneath

About 6 years ago, both myself and a colleague went down into the cellar of one of Bold Street’s shops.

Walking quickly across rotten wooden floorboards, our feet nearly going through them, we reached the stone floor of the other side. The cellar was as big as the shop above, and so you can imagine how big it was.

The stone floor was cobbled. It was for all intents and purposes what you would expect to find on an old street.

Looking at the walls of the cellar we noticed decades worth of graffiti – names and dates written hastily in the dark. There too were warnings.

An old door, left ajar on the side of the cellar we now found ourselves on beckoned us further in. Around it grew moss, and cobwebs were strewn about it’s proportions. Next to the door, a message became visible in the torch light: “BEWARE ALL THOSE WHO ENTER HERE!” A later writing next to it exclaimed the words “they’re not lying!”.

We heard noises coming from within the room… a wind was blowing but from which direction we were not sure. Again we heard the noise… a low buzzing sound mixed with a sort of clattering.

I wanted to go through the door. I looked at my colleague and asked her to come with me. She said she was terrified to go inside. “I’ll just wait here in case the door closes on you”, she said.

I stepped over the threshold. A dark narrow corridor lay in front of me, which turned off to the right. The ceiling was low, with cast iron pipes following the path of the turn. Dust was thick in the air, I kept catching glimpses of it as it swirled about my torchlight.

As I waked to the end of the passage and stepped into the next room, I met a chamber which went diagonally into another darkened room. In this first chamber, on the left hand side, were 3 partitioned working stations. Each had a surface at waist height for its respective labourer. They hadn’t seen a soul for many a year. Old objects were lain out – glass light fittings, bits of twisted metal, fallen masonry. A fine power of white coated everything.

I shouted to my colleague to see if she was ok. I then walked into the next chamber. This was bigger than the last, with bricks fallen from the ceiling not the cobbled floor. An old sign, was there, but no wording could be made out such was the deterioration of it’s material. It was then that I noticed that the light in my torch was starting to fade. My camera too was loosing battery power – but we had fully charged these things before we had came to the tunnels. My partner’s equipment too was beginning to drain. She began to get nervous. I walked over to the other side of this large room.

Now there was a corridor forward. I knew I was already far out into the street, although where I did not know. Perhaps all the way over the other side, under the opposite row of 200 year old shop fronts.
A fallen timber lay on the floor to the left, and caved in ceiling debris hung in mid air. At the end of this corridor lay a left turn. I entered another small room – more of a twist really. A bricked up window or hole in the wall was marked by different coloured bricks than the rest of the surrounding structure. Why would there be a window down here, deep underground?

Another passage lay up ahead. At the end was another turn, this time to the right. I hesitated… something didn’t feel right. I felt unsure of what lay down the passage. My light started to dim and flicker – suddenly my partner screamed at me to come back! But how far down would that passage go? I imagined it to run a long long way down. I bolted from the passage back in the direction from whence I came, speeding through the dark and dismal voids.

My partner was in sight, and desperately wanting to leave. The pipes above our heads were vibrating and rattling. She was shaking. As quick as we could we traversed the floorboards of the old cellar, my foot going clean through one almost losing me my balance. Running up the wooden stairs now on the other side we took a look back. “What was down that turn?” I thought. Would I be back another day? Maybe…



  • Bill Hunt-Jones says:

    Excellent photos. Tunnels are fascinating. Proves that we don’t know half of what lies beneath our feet in Liverpool city centre. Pity that the graffiti only went back as far as the early 60s, but that’s not a criticism. The article reminded me of the tunnel that led from Bixteth Street to Pall Mall. Disused for many years, I used to often walk through it in the early 70s as a shortcut. It obviously(?) had something to do with Exchange Station and though dank and dark was not at all ‘threatening’. There was a kind of booth with a barred opening at the Pall Mall end, which seemed to suggest a small office. Unfortunately, I never took any photos (no digital cameras then), so only have memories of it. Now blocked up at both ends, it has to remain that way.

    • George Richards says:

      Yes I remember it well walked through often with my Dad in the early fifty’s,on our way to,and from Pall Mall to Liverpool Staidium to boxing and wrestling matches .
      I also remember there were a couple of small shops in there too. It was blocked off in later years.

  • David Mccarthy says:

    I never knew that there were tunnels in Bold st. Although I was told about secret rooms at a place called the Oddspot in Bold st. I also know of tunnels in Old Swan, tho, I cannot find any reference to them

  • peter edwards says:

    We have that building (87 Bold street,old odd spot)I,m not sure what they are about.They appear to run under Bold street.I carn’t understand the motive of such other than maybe a passage way down the street.Construction is good.It seems a lot of trouble to have gone to for just a folly Most of it is bricked up (rats)but it is still there intacted.

  • Sue kelly says:

    Hi I was listening to you on radio merseyside today so looked up your website and the information and photos about the tunnels intriguing! I live on the wirral side of the water but history of wirral or liverpool has always interested me .Hope your able to find out more about them

  • derek weaver says:

    I worked on a refurbishment prog in 1980 at the adelphi hotel. A tunnel was found at the front of the hotel, its now covered over by the back bar in the night club. It was heading in the direction of Lewis’s or central station.

    • Jeffrey Butler says:

      I would imagine that the tunnel from the Adelphi was for the luggage of guests being brought from central station to the hotel keeping it dry. The baggage porters at the station would trolley it through leaving the guest to “just arrive” and check in without any trouble.

  • Colin Crawford says:

    I heard your interview on Radio Merseyside and thought ‘this needs to be investigated by Liverpool City Council or some national Historical Organisation so that the start you have made doesn’t get lost in the Ethernet’. A well scripted dialog of your visit to the tunnels, you have a potential as a thriller writer. I wish you every success in progressing this project to get it acknowledged by the authorities and public at large. Keep me informed of your progress.
    Good Luck,

  • JP Harris says:

    Good stuff, At the moment I am compiling and writing a book on time slips,
    I know about the cases which happened on Bold St #1 the policeman who in 1996 went back into the 1950s #2 and in 2006 , a shoplifter who was running from a security guard, ran down a back alley nr Bold St, and ended up in 1967…

    I have been looking at the buildings, esp the building material..which might give a clue for these strange events. Now knowing about the tunnels….I wonder if there
    is a link?…good site well done

    • walter hewitt says:

      Talking of time slips… I was in 80 Bold Street today. Its an old large vintage clothes shop now and just inside the door is an ancient well! With water visable way down below. Talked to an assistant there and he went off on one telling me about seeing ghosts and hearing noises when closed and all quiet. He’d heard tell of an old monastry on the site. I’ve chased a few ghosts home in my time and my first impression was that it was because the place was full of dead men and women’s clothes was a good reason for them to be habitually jumping forward into that overcoat or skirt they once adored! Anyway I recomend you check it because I felt strange before I saw the waterwell, The atmosphere is exraordinary!

  • J monaghan says:

    Thanks for link Tom really interesting wonder if they will ever open these up too.

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  • Clare says:

    Absolutely loved this did you ever go back ?

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1st April 2016 by Chris Gibson