By the beginning of the 19 th Century, the need to move cargo was becoming more important for Britain’s economy and London’s bridges were too cramped with carriage and pedestrian traffic to expect to move that cargo quickly. The tunnel was designed for the use of pedestrians, horses and carriages. London: Harrap, 1963; Gosta Sandstrom. The first shaft was sunk near Lavender Lane at Rotherhithe. The first underwater tunnel ever built opened in London in 1843, paving a path for cities everywhere to expand beneath rivers and oceans. When the Woolwich foot tunnel closed for repairs in 2011, it should have been a routine job. A team of Cornish miners was brought to London to carry out the work. The History of Tunnelling: Underground Workings Through the Ages. Lee Tunnel. With all the tunnels under the River Thames, it might seem strange to think that it was once a nearly impossible feat of engineering. The Tunnel: the Story of the World’s First Tunnel Under a Navigable River. Its the best way to explore. Walking is my my favourite way of getting around this city. London is full of secret tunnels, such as those leading to abandoned Tube stations and hidden war bunkers - but did you know there's one right under the River Thames?. We're not talking a London Underground tunnel that runs under the Thames either - these are tunnels you walk through.. London relies on a 150-year-old sewer system built for a population less than half its current size. The tunnel was built under the Thames in 1869, allowing people to cross the river downstream of London Bridge. We’re busy constructing a 25km tunnel under London’s river that will prevent the tens of millions of tonnes of pollution that currently pollute the River Thames every year. As a result, millions of tonnes of raw sewage spills, untreated, into the River Thames each year. It will carry millions of tonnes of crap that would otherwise have been dumped into the River Lee. There are two fully-pedestrianised foot tunnels linking key parts of London that are north and south of … The Thames Tideway Tunnel, due for completion in 2025, will be a 25 km (16 mi) deep tunnel running mostly under the tidal section of the River Thames through central London to capture, store and convey almost all the raw sewage and rainwater that currently overflows into the river. To have a look up here and a glimpse down there. This necessary expansion of London’s sewer network is due for completion in 2025, and is happening across 24 construction sites in London. From there the plan was to drive a miners’ drift passage under the river about five feet high and wide enough for two men to pass. That’s where we come in. 5. This four-mile sewer runs from Abbey Mills to Beckton, up to 80 metres below the surface. Reconnecting London with the River Thames. The pathway had been providing pedestrians with a quick route beneath the Thames since 1912. It became redundant when Tower Bridge was completed a … Contractors were hired to plug holes, improve access and bring communications capabilities into the… London… A century on, a few minor improvements were necessary. London’s deepest tunnel will also be its least-seen. And you can stop off in one of London’s 7,000 pubs to break the journey with a clear conscience. Something catches my eye as I wander around and I take a photo.