Site Records

SiteName: Camden Catacombs

Beneath Camden Lock Market
Chalk Farm Road
London NW1
OS Grid Ref: TQ286841

Subbrit site visit 1987

[Source: Nick Catford]


Photo:Horse Tunnel
Photo by Nick Catford

An interesting complex of tunnels and vaults are to be found close to the Roundhouse at Camden. The Camden Catacombs, as they have become known are were once owned by British Railways but have now passed into multiple ownership. Some sections were demolished during the redevelopment of the area while other sections belong to Camden Market who discourage access.

Photo:Entrance labyrinth
Photo by Nick Catford

They were built in the 19th Century as stables for horses and pit ponies that were used to shunt railway wagons. The tunnels run under the Euston mainline, under the goods depot at Primrose Hill, beneath Gilbeys Bonded Warehouse on the Regents Canal and under Camden Lock Market. Their route can be traced from the distinctive cast-iron grilles set at regular intervals into the road surface; originally the only source of light for the horses below.

Photo:Warehouse Basement - this has now been demolished.
Photo by Nick Catford

The network of tunnels also includes an underground canal basin and this is clearly visible, close to Camden Lock where the towpath is carried across it on a bridge. The tunnels also gave access to the basements of a number of Victorian Warehouses but most of these and sections of the tunnel network were lost during a major redevelopment of the area in the 1980's.

Further information and pictures about this site continues here

[Source:Nick Catford]

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Last updated: Tuesday, 04-Jan-2011 14:55:28 GMT
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