REVEALED: The hidden heart of Blackburn

This Is Lancashire: Supports hold up the roof of the underground culvert which runs beneath Blackburn Supports hold up the roof of the underground culvert which runs beneath Blackburn

THIS is the hidden heart of Blackburn exposed to public view for the first time for more than a century.

These photographs show the Victorian culvert through which the River Blakewater runs under the town centre.

For just a few months as experts from the Eric Wright Group repair and strengthen the walls and roof of the tunnel, visitors will be able to see the River for the first time since the height of the Industrial Revolution.

It shows where a small branch culvert brings the healing waters from the historic All Hallows Spring, located behind the Adelphi pub, into the main flow down from the Blakewater’s source on the moors above Guide.

The maintenance is essential to take the weight of the new Cathedral Quarter development and lorries needed to build the hotel, offices and clergy court that will rise from the dereliction of the current site works.

While exploring the culvert, it was discovered that the years of debris and water, occasionally flooding almost to the historic roof beams, had taken their toll and the stone and ironwork was in urgent need of repair.

The unexpected cold light of spring days revealed the delicate tracery of stalactites dripping from the culvert ceiling that has developed over the years of darkness.

This week site managers John Carney and Gavin Hulme, both Blackburn residents, showed the Lancashire Telegraph, borough regeneration boss Maureen Bateson and Cathedral Quarter development manager Clare Turner the wonders their workforce had uncovered.

Coun Bateson said: “It’s fascinating to see part of Blackburn history hidden for more than 100 years.

“You can see the skill of the Victorian builders who covered this part of the Blakewater, unseen since Queen Victoria reigned.

“It turns out the roof of the culvert was deteriorating and it’s opportune we can do the work now as a new town centre rises, revealing and incorporating the heritage of the past.”

Comments (19)

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12:12pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Joseph O'M says...

It'd be great to keep a section opened up...
It'd be great to keep a section opened up... Joseph O'M
  • Score: 15

12:15pm Fri 28 Mar 14

GrindletonBob says...

Interesting article and photos, but it's the first time I've ever heard reference to healing waters in relation to the River Blakewater!

Perhaps the Adelphi could make use of the spring below the pub and start a micro brewery on site called Blakewater Beers.
Interesting article and photos, but it's the first time I've ever heard reference to healing waters in relation to the River Blakewater! Perhaps the Adelphi could make use of the spring below the pub and start a micro brewery on site called Blakewater Beers. GrindletonBob
  • Score: 19

12:16pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Joseph O'M says...

“It turns out the roof of the culvert was deteriorating and it’s opportune we can do the work now as a new town centre rises, revealing and incorporating the heritage of the past.”

This ("revealing and incorporating the heritage of the past") certainly makes it sound like it is going to be kept open in some part, but it'd be the first time I'm aware of hearing this...
“It turns out the roof of the culvert was deteriorating and it’s opportune we can do the work now as a new town centre rises, revealing and incorporating the heritage of the past.” This ("revealing and incorporating the heritage of the past") certainly makes it sound like it is going to be kept open in some part, but it'd be the first time I'm aware of hearing this... Joseph O'M
  • Score: 4

12:48pm Fri 28 Mar 14

juanbbien says...

It would be nice to maybe open a section of it and make some kind of heritage feature depicting the Towns past for future generations
It would be nice to maybe open a section of it and make some kind of heritage feature depicting the Towns past for future generations juanbbien
  • Score: 11

1:57pm Fri 28 Mar 14

sen c b l says...

Culverts ARE underground rain water streams that flow beneath roads and other above surface constructions. If you wish to view these get to the nearest bridge where the water flow could be viewed safely. Otherwise any exposed culverts other than maintainence purpose and you're asking for a catastrophe.
Culverts ARE underground rain water streams that flow beneath roads and other above surface constructions. If you wish to view these get to the nearest bridge where the water flow could be viewed safely. Otherwise any exposed culverts other than maintainence purpose and you're asking for a catastrophe. sen c b l
  • Score: -9

2:24pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Joseph O'M says...

I was referring to a section the Blakewater being kept open, as it used to be... http://www.google.co
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past.jpg&imgrefurl=h
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kburnpast.com%2F2013
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p=13
I was referring to a section the Blakewater being kept open, as it used to be... http://www.google.co .uk/imgres?imgurl=ht tp%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blog spot.com%2F-CJC26jgM 5PQ%2FUXpB8fyzCWI%2F AAAAAAAABkQ%2FHs4vDp _FZPI%2Fs1600%2FWate r%252BSt%252B-%252BB past.jpg&imgrefurl=h ttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.blac kburnpast.com%2F2013 %2F04%2Fwater-street -viewed-from-salford -1963.html&h=549&w=8 00&tbnid=5eY11YIgiVL aQM%3A&zoom=1&docid= hXFnHw1lPMrSwM&ei=vI U1U9iAM_Dg7QbcjYCACQ &tbm=isch&ved=0CHoQh BwwDA&iact=rc&dur=38 7&page=1&start=0&nds p=13 Joseph O'M
  • Score: 2

6:10pm Fri 28 Mar 14

phil kernot says...

sen c b l wrote:
Culverts ARE underground rain water streams that flow beneath roads and other above surface constructions. If you wish to view these get to the nearest bridge where the water flow could be viewed safely. Otherwise any exposed culverts other than maintainence purpose and you're asking for a catastrophe.
Says the safety inspector ,,lol
[quote][p][bold]sen c b l[/bold] wrote: Culverts ARE underground rain water streams that flow beneath roads and other above surface constructions. If you wish to view these get to the nearest bridge where the water flow could be viewed safely. Otherwise any exposed culverts other than maintainence purpose and you're asking for a catastrophe.[/p][/quote]Says the safety inspector ,,lol phil kernot
  • Score: 3

6:49pm Fri 28 Mar 14

sen c b l says...

phil kernot wrote:
sen c b l wrote:
Culverts ARE underground rain water streams that flow beneath roads and other above surface constructions. If you wish to view these get to the nearest bridge where the water flow could be viewed safely. Otherwise any exposed culverts other than maintainence purpose and you're asking for a catastrophe.
Says the safety inspector ,,lol
We don't want you washed away now do we !!!
[quote][p][bold]phil kernot[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sen c b l[/bold] wrote: Culverts ARE underground rain water streams that flow beneath roads and other above surface constructions. If you wish to view these get to the nearest bridge where the water flow could be viewed safely. Otherwise any exposed culverts other than maintainence purpose and you're asking for a catastrophe.[/p][/quote]Says the safety inspector ,,lol[/p][/quote]We don't want you washed away now do we !!! sen c b l
  • Score: 6

8:12pm Fri 28 Mar 14

soap opera says...

if you want to see the river just go along bridge st and you can see it there
if you want to see the river just go along bridge st and you can see it there soap opera
  • Score: 6

10:49am Sat 29 Mar 14

peely says...

I remember seeing this culvert in the sixties when they did the work outside the White Bull pub !
I remember seeing this culvert in the sixties when they did the work outside the White Bull pub ! peely
  • Score: 8

9:50pm Sat 29 Mar 14

mark anthony says...

Rats will be having a field day. In the sunshine
Rats will be having a field day. In the sunshine mark anthony
  • Score: 6

10:22pm Sun 30 Mar 14

Darwen Malc says...

Wasn't there a plan at one time to open up the culvert through the town centre as a sort of focal point?
Wasn't there a plan at one time to open up the culvert through the town centre as a sort of focal point? Darwen Malc
  • Score: 5

12:36pm Mon 31 Mar 14

bulldogbrfc says...

Yes if you look at the plans for regeneration for Blackburn centre that they did a few years back it had a picture showing the river with green open spaces .
Yes if you look at the plans for regeneration for Blackburn centre that they did a few years back it had a picture showing the river with green open spaces . bulldogbrfc
  • Score: 5

12:20pm Wed 2 Apr 14

richard says...

Initially I was also hoping it might become a central feature when opened up - but on reflection, apart from during storms it is really just a very small stream most of the time.
Initially I was also hoping it might become a central feature when opened up - but on reflection, apart from during storms it is really just a very small stream most of the time. richard
  • Score: 2

11:59am Fri 4 Apr 14

ConcernedOssy says...

BLACKBURN

IT'S A HOLE IN THE GROUND lol
BLACKBURN IT'S A HOLE IN THE GROUND lol ConcernedOssy
  • Score: 4

12:01pm Fri 4 Apr 14

ConcernedOssy says...

sen c b l wrote:
phil kernot wrote:
sen c b l wrote:
Culverts ARE underground rain water streams that flow beneath roads and other above surface constructions. If you wish to view these get to the nearest bridge where the water flow could be viewed safely. Otherwise any exposed culverts other than maintainence purpose and you're asking for a catastrophe.
Says the safety inspector ,,lol
We don't want you washed away now do we !!!
One more catastrophe in Bburn Oh No !!
[quote][p][bold]sen c b l[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]phil kernot[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sen c b l[/bold] wrote: Culverts ARE underground rain water streams that flow beneath roads and other above surface constructions. If you wish to view these get to the nearest bridge where the water flow could be viewed safely. Otherwise any exposed culverts other than maintainence purpose and you're asking for a catastrophe.[/p][/quote]Says the safety inspector ,,lol[/p][/quote]We don't want you washed away now do we !!![/p][/quote]One more catastrophe in Bburn Oh No !! ConcernedOssy
  • Score: 4

12:03pm Fri 4 Apr 14

ConcernedOssy says...

Joseph O'M wrote:
“It turns out the roof of the culvert was deteriorating and it’s opportune we can do the work now as a new town centre rises, revealing and incorporating the heritage of the past.”

This ("revealing and incorporating the heritage of the past") certainly makes it sound like it is going to be kept open in some part, but it'd be the first time I'm aware of hearing this...
More good work authorised by Bburn Cowncil lol
[quote][p][bold]Joseph O'M[/bold] wrote: “It turns out the roof of the culvert was deteriorating and it’s opportune we can do the work now as a new town centre rises, revealing and incorporating the heritage of the past.” This ("revealing and incorporating the heritage of the past") certainly makes it sound like it is going to be kept open in some part, but it'd be the first time I'm aware of hearing this...[/p][/quote]More good work authorised by Bburn Cowncil lol ConcernedOssy
  • Score: 4

2:31pm Fri 4 Apr 14

ConcernedOssy says...

ConcernedOssy wrote:
Joseph O'M wrote:
“It turns out the roof of the culvert was deteriorating and it’s opportune we can do the work now as a new town centre rises, revealing and incorporating the heritage of the past.”

This ("revealing and incorporating the heritage of the past") certainly makes it sound like it is going to be kept open in some part, but it'd be the first time I'm aware of hearing this...
More good work authorised by Bburn Cowncil lol
Suppose the could hold Clowncil meetings in it
[quote][p][bold]ConcernedOssy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Joseph O'M[/bold] wrote: “It turns out the roof of the culvert was deteriorating and it’s opportune we can do the work now as a new town centre rises, revealing and incorporating the heritage of the past.” This ("revealing and incorporating the heritage of the past") certainly makes it sound like it is going to be kept open in some part, but it'd be the first time I'm aware of hearing this...[/p][/quote]More good work authorised by Bburn Cowncil lol[/p][/quote]Suppose the could hold Clowncil meetings in it ConcernedOssy
  • Score: 3

2:33pm Fri 4 Apr 14

ConcernedOssy says...

GrindletonBob wrote:
Interesting article and photos, but it's the first time I've ever heard reference to healing waters in relation to the River Blakewater!

Perhaps the Adelphi could make use of the spring below the pub and start a micro brewery on site called Blakewater Beers.
Think the Clowncil are drinking too much of the "healing waters" already lol
[quote][p][bold]GrindletonBob[/bold] wrote: Interesting article and photos, but it's the first time I've ever heard reference to healing waters in relation to the River Blakewater! Perhaps the Adelphi could make use of the spring below the pub and start a micro brewery on site called Blakewater Beers.[/p][/quote]Think the Clowncil are drinking too much of the "healing waters" already lol ConcernedOssy
  • Score: 3

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