Ventilation Tower
Blackburne Place, Liverpool L8

Picture by Alan Maycock
 

This is one of three monumental ventilation shafts still visible along the line of The Wapping Tunnel, the others being in White Street near to the Park Lane portal and at Crown Street, close to the Chatsworth Street portal. The Wapping Tunnel was integral to the original Liverpool to Manchester Railway. From Edge Hill passenger carriages were pulled uphill by rope to the original passenger terminus at Crown Street but goods carriages were lowered down, or pulled up through The Wapping Tunnel on an endless rope connected to a stationary engine in The Moorish Arch at Edge Hill. (Somewhat alarmingly it was not only acceptable but briefly fashionable for pedestrians to walk through The Wapping Tunnel whilst carriages were in transit. It is presumed that the red brick towers were built around 1890 when steam locomotives began working the line and the height was required for the dispersal of exhaust smoke.

Sources:
Pevsner Architectural Guides; Liverpool by Joseph Sharples
Underground Liverpool by Jim Moore

Alan Maycock 2007

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