The Hell Hole

On the outskirts of Morley, near Leeds, there’s a swathe of old woodland enclosed by the M62, M621 and the villages of Gildersome and Churwell. Through this woodland the main railway line into Leeds used to run, including a stretch through the Gildersome Tunnel. The line was closed in the mid-1960’s but as recent as the late 1980’s you could still enter the tunnel at the north end, though it was a journey few would dare undertake.

A grafftitied skull & crossbones greeted anyone passing through the narrow doorway (now gated and locked) and further down in the stygian darkness people had scrawled their names and ‘LUFC’ into the brickwork. The entrance, flanked by high moss-covered stone walls, is now bricked-up and the approach is permanently flooded with decades of accumulated trash strewn about.

Even on a warm summer’s day it’s an eerie place – cold, damp and forboding. Reached via a steep descent from either end of Springfield & Dean Woods, the site reeks of wrongdoing, of ancient ills waiting to be stirred. Known by some locals as ‘The Hell Hole’ it has a henge-like quality for The Sinister Insult, emanating a power far older than the stones used in its construction. Evidence of pilgrimages by others can be seen in the woodland nearby, with beer cans and cider bottles heaped in bonfire ashes, shredded porn mags and crisp bags caught in the undergrowth and, hanging from one long skeletal branch, a ragged noose.

Given its relative inaccessibility it’s unlikely to ever be redeveloped, and who would even want to?

Explore further:

http://www.forgottenrelics.co.uk/tunnels/gallery/gildersome.html

http://www.28dayslater.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=22824

http://www.secretleeds.com/forum/Messages.aspx?ThreadID=309

http://www.lostrailwayswestyorkshire.co.uk/leeds%20new%20line%206.htm

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rikj/10137978/

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