Tunnels and Weir in Hancocks Wood, Loftus

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Perhaps one of reasons this website ever came to exist, as a small child I came here many times and always wanted to find out what was down the tunnels.

Hancocks Wood Tunnels Loftus

So I finally took the opportunity to don my wellies and head torch and have a look, pictures aren’t fantastic as I only had a pocket camera with me.

The largest tunnel is perhaps 25m long and turns underneath the railway embankment before emerging on the other side.
Hancocks Wood Tunnels Loftus    Hancocks Wood Tunnels Loftus
A second short tunnel leads into someone private garden, looks like they have a personal waterfall.
Hancocks Wood Tunnels Loftus

Nearby the main track also leads under the railway embankment, the bridge is surprisingly large suggesting this route used to be a lot more important than it is now.

Hancocks Wood Loftus

I’m not sure why the weir exists, old maps seem to suggest it probably only arrived with the railway, and I can find no evidence of there ever being a building on the site, although the place always gave the impression to be there had been something here.
Hancocks Wood Loftus Hancocks Wood Loftus Weir

There a photo of the same area in the 1960s here

10 thoughts on “Tunnels and Weir in Hancocks Wood, Loftus

  1. The larger tunnel is carrying Middle Gill under the railway embankment, the smaller tunnel is carrying a second smaller stream under the footpath.

    The two streams merge in a shallow pool and flow over the weir.

    The footpath then continues through the bridge under the embankment.

  2. I must admit to being a regular visitor to this website. I find it informative, useful and just down right interesting!

    Well done Mr Twigg for all you have achieved!

    Matt

  3. The embankment was a Viaduct, it was filled in when it started to subside because of mining.

    Those culverts were installed to allow the streams to continue to flow.

  4. The tunnels under the railway were probably built over the beck before spoil was tipped to form the embankment rather than diverting the beck which flowed into the weir which I believe was a secondary water source for the mill about a quarter mile down the footpath back towards Loftus, There used to be a sluice gate and a channel along side the footpath which took the water above the beck and onto a further holding pond which is now filled in with a bungalow built on the site. I was told about the mill on a school field trip about 20 year ago so it’s all I can remember at the moment

  5. Thanks for posting these images, I lived in Loftus as a teenager and did go through the tunnels back in the 1970’s. It wasn’t always a tranquil place as it formed part of the cross-country running route for Rosecroft School. We ran under the rail bridge and headed south through the woods before having to cross the stream and scramble up the side of the steep hill to the school playing fields. Could you imagine health and safety allowing that these days!?

  6. Hey Chris, my great aunt used to tell us that they sheltered in the longer tunnel during the first world war as an air-raid shelter (zeppelins). I don’t suppose there’s any graffiti or other evidence in there from that is there?

  7. As Rights of Way officer in the 1970’s as a tecnical assistant for the Borough Engineer Imagine my total joy at finding all these structures being passionate about industrial archeology. I was familiar with so much of the Cleveland Ironstone relics but this outlying landscape of Loftus was new to me. Hancocks Wood, Beck Meetings and the Orchid rich Kilton area such special places.

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