Urbex…Sort Of

27 07 2010

On Monday, J and I went on a mission, to try and find Gildersome Tunnel, a disused train tunnel near Leeds.
After a little driving around, and attempting to compare drawings and guidelines to actual maps, we finally parked up on Rooms Lane, and walked down over the M621 pedestrian bridge, and into the wooded areas adjacent to the motorway.

We didn’t find the tunnel (although for anyone interested, there are some spectacular photographs of the tunnel from a few years ago on this guy’s Flickr page), but we can’t have been far from it at all, based on the maps, and what we did find.

Just before the motorway bridge.
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Concrete circle, which we now know to be part of the drainage system for the tunnel.
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Further on, we came to a fork in the path, and took the higher route first. We soon came to these concrete cylinders, high up on the forest floor, right above a large clearing that looks like it’s been used for dirt biking.
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After wandering on the same path a little way, we decided to turn back, and try the other path in the fork. I shot these of the route ahead right before we turned back.
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Down the lower path, we came to the clearing pretty quickly. The noise from the motorway is dulled a lot down there, and there was a definate sense of ‘creepiness’ – at one point earlier on, I think J commented, “it’s a bit ‘Wrong Turn’, isn’t it?”
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We headed across the clearing, intending to loop back up to the higher trail, and double back on ourselves that way. But we stuck around the forest for a while first, shooting some photos and playing around with off-camera flash.
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Knowing a bit more now about the lay of the land, and having seen the concrete shafts and lids, we can’t have been far at all, if not right on top of the tunnel. From what information I can find online, the tunnel is flooded quite severely with up to 5 feet of filth water, so even if we had found it, it’s unlikely we could have gained access to it at all.

Still, I’d like to go back, on a day we have a little more time, and at least shoot a few photographs of the entrance, just to say we did find the place.

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