The Mysterious Crosspool Tunnel in Sheffield, Northern England

crosspool-tunnel-sheffield (Image: Crosspool News; the mysterious Crosspool Tunnel in Sheffield, England)

Tales of secret passages and long lost underground tunnels beneath our towns and cities are so common that they’ve been woven into the very fabric of local folklore. And though there’s no doubt that some do indeed exist, accounts have become so widespread that many forgotten subterranean passageways apply more to urban legend than centuries-old construction projects.

At least, that’s until someone rediscovered one…

The city of Sheffield in South Yorkshire, England, which has featured several times on Urban Ghosts, is purported to be the home of many abandoned tunnels of old, from priest holes and secret passages connecting religious buildings to rumoured Cold War bunkers and more. You can browse a lively debate on the subject over at the Sheffield History forum.

The Crosspool Tunnel

Meanwhile, five years ago, in the pleasant suburb of Crosspool on Sheffield’s west side, a mysterious tunnel opened up which remains somewhat mysterious to this day. In 2011, a resident was digging in the garden of his house on Manchester Road when his spade struck a stone buried about three feet below the ground.

crosspool-tunnel-sheffield-2 (Image: Google Maps; Crosspool Tunnel is said to run through the gardens of Manchester Rd)

Curious, the man dug on to reveal what Crosspool News described as “a line of [stones] extending the full width of the garden.” According to the website:

“…with some prizing (and fortuitously great care) he was met with an unbelievable sight witnessed by his equally inquisitive 12-year-old son who had arrived on the scene. More stones were lifted and there, a yard or so below, several lines of setts were revealed.”

The man’s son carefully lowered himself down into the hole, which revealed a narrow circular-tunnel stretching off into the gloom. But what was its purpose? And where did it lead?

Another resident later told Crosspool News that the tunnel began at the Sportsman pub on Benty Lane and ended at the bottom of Coldwell Lane, passing through the gardens of 51 properties on Manchester Road along the way. Residents making alterations to their homes had apparently stumbled across the mysterious Crosspool Tunnel, making it an intriguing local oddity and talking point if not one that’s widely known.

Mines and Adits

adit-nenthead-cumbria (Image: Ashley Dace; example of a horse-level adit in Nenthead, Cumbria)

Crosspool historian Judith Hanson said the tunnel didn’t appear on old maps of the area. She explained, however, that the Crosspool area was rich in coal seams including the historic Hallam coal field, of which the exact location is also a mystery.

Most tellingly, though, Judith revealed that there was once an old mine opening, known as an adit, immediately behind the Sportsman. This would tally with the apparent course of the tunnel parallel to Manchester Road, and through the back gardens of its semi-detached houses.

crosspool-tunnel-sheffield-3 (Image: Google Maps; line of Crosspool Tunnel between the Sportsman and Coldwell Lane)

Also of interest is a comment by Reg Sanderson, that a now long-abandoned coal mine was located where the carpark and garden of the Sportsman pub still stand, and that the tunnel, which would then have run through open fields, may have been built for drainage purposes. Read the rest of Mr Sanderson’s thoughts about the mysterious Crosspool Tunnel here.

Related –┬áSteel City Urbex: 10 Abandoned Places in Sheffield


About the author: Tom





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