Tunnel Cottage is one of the most unusual houses that lie on railway property. It is the bijou dwelling that nestles between the two imposing, castellated towers that form part of the extraordinary northern entrance to Clayton tunnel on the London to Brighton line.
Built by the LBSCR in the 1840s, the 2266 yard long tunnel is now a grade 2 listed building. The cottage was added to the ramparts in 1849. Some believe that the tunnel and cottage are haunted by the victims of a terrible train crash that happened in the tunnel in 1861.
This film shows the various views that passers by and trainspotters will be used to taken from the nearby road bridge. More interestingly, having gained permission to enter the land, there are numerous views that you would not generally have access to.
These include close up footage of the tunnel mouth, detailed views of the decorative stonework on the facade walls, views of the house and structure from the hill behind and views of the surrounding garden and land.
Although the cottage occupies part of the structure, there are empty catacombs in the hexagonal towers that make interesting viewing; these are shown with the aid of a 5,000,000 candle power torch.
Spectacular views are taken from the top of one of the towers which was accessed specially for this film.
Most exciting is the “secret passage” which runs horizontally into the hillside from the back of the cottage. After some yards it meets a large vertical shaft, much like the ventilator shafts that serve the main railway tunnel. This is also explored with a powerful torch showing as much detail as possible.
Finally, some views at the southern end of the tunnel show the of ventilator shafts along the hilltop in relation to the tunnel mouth. One of the ventilator shafts is seen close up to show how they were all originally constructed with doorways.
Includes constant commentary.