Monday, 30 November 2009

St James Cemetary Tunnel

Hi Rob,

I enjoy the Liverpool History Society Questions Blog because of the diverse range of questions you get and often provide the answer I note.  You recently gave an answer to a question on the Oratory, but I would like to know what the bricked up tunnel in the cemetary was use for.

Best wishes


Public Access Tunnel

Quarrymen`s Tunnel

Hearse Tunnel


  1. Hello Martin,

    Glad you like the LHS Blog.

    There is more than one tunnel in the cemetery, a public access tunnel, (that I used to roller skate down in my youth),a Quarrymen`s and Hearse Tunnels.

    Possibly this was the Quarrymen's route out of the Quarry with the loads of stone. In his book The Building of Liverpool Cathedral, Peter Kennerly writes; "The preparation of the foundations for the West Front was hampered by the presence underground of an old collapsed tunnel, which had been excavated in the eighteenth century to give access to the quarry."

    The other tunnel facing the quarrymen's tunnel is called "The Hearse Tunnel" and emerges at the junction of Rodney St, St. James St and Duke St.


    Rob Ainsworth
    Programme Secretary & Web Administrator
    Liverpool History Society

  2. Hi Guys, i have to admit i find this site absolutley fascinating, as for St.James walk/cemetery:

    The hearse route was, as Mr.Ainsworth stated, a hearse route into the walk, it came out behind the building on the corner of Upper Duke Street (if your looking at google earth, its the one that is crescent shaped with the dome in the middle. It used to have two large Stone Lions either side of the entrance, and it had a few openings to a low light and air into the tunnel. it was blocked up not long after the last burial, but the top three courses on the right hand side of the tunnel was removed a few years ago and someone got access into it and took about 5 photos, which show the Hearse routes walls and its stereotypical tunnel shape.

    Regards, Maurice From
    P.S. when i researched the for an article i used this site