Below the art-deco New Brighton Palace, an amusement arcade, lies an extensive grid of interconnected vaults . There are many tunnels and man-made caves in this area, dug to extract sandstone and to provide storage. The most famous include Mother Redcaps and the Wormhole, and legends abound locally of their use by smugglers.
A local website claims that the vaults at the New Brighton Palace are more than three centuries old however the vaulting appears to be 19th century. They were rediscovered in 1932, accompanied by a terrible smell, probably from sewage, but once again the local legends have a more colourful interpretation, which was that this was from rotting bodies from the 1793 wreck of The Pelican, hidden here by smugglers.
During the Second World War they were used for munitions manufacture, employing more than 200 women. They were also used as air raid shelters, the two functions being unlikely bedfellows. The flooded sections of the vaults still appear to have traces of wartime structural supports and compartmentation, suggesting that they have been flooded and unused for many decades
In the latter part of the 20th century the vaults have been used variously as a nightclub called “The Creep” and as a dance venue, and more recently for paranormal events.
Thanks to David Wilkie for allowing access