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19 Ethereal Pictures Of London's Secret Underworld

From abandoned tube stations and vast caverns to an entire disused railway line and the new Crossrail network, there's a whole world underneath your feet. Some of these via Subterranean London, compiled by Bradley L. Garrett.

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1. Many of London's ancient lost rivers still through the city. This is the river Tyburn, which runs from Hampstead through Regent's Park and into the Thames.

Subterranean London / compiled by Bradley L. Garrett

Many rivers were built over as London grew, and some, like the Tyburn, were converted into sewers in the 19th century by Sir Joseph Bazalgette.


7. Meanwhile, the gargantuan Crossrail project has put a vast new layer of tunnels through London's underbelly.

Subterranean London / compiled by Bradley L. Garrett

The tunnels will link national rail services with the London Underground and provide a quicker way to travel from east to west across the city.


8. The photographers behind the Subterranean London book accessed this National Grid excavation, part of the Crossrail network, by climbing down 12 storeys.

9. The Crossrail tunnels – seen here underneath Whitechapel station, 32 metres below street level – are vast and were built with a 150-metre-long boring machine.

Getty Images Dan Kitwood

The completed Crossrail network will include 19 miles of tunnels.

11. But perhaps the most remarkable part of London's hidden underground is its disused railway networks and stations.

Subterranean London / compiled by Bradley L. Garrett

This is part of a 6.5-mile-long railway owned by Royal Mail that was once used to ferry post across the capital, but is now disused.

The network was built in 1927 and stretches from Paddington to Whitechapel. Both the line and its stations are remarkably well preserved.


19. Brompton Road station was once on the Piccadilly line, but was closed and later used as a military office. This map, which dates from the Second World War, shows gun placements across London.

Flickr: londonmatt / Creative Commons

According to Londonist, which gained access to the station in 2011, the station was closed in 1934, and much of the structure was sold to the Ministry of Defence.

The site was bought in 2013 for £50 million to be turned into flats.

Subterranean London, compiled by Bradley L. Garrett with a foreword by Will Self, is published by Prestel.