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Taken from a Bristol Newspaper - July 2007:


Hidden away beneath Lawrence Hill lies a secret world - an underground Victorian street stretching from Ducie Road to the Packhouse pub. Local historian Dave Stephenson finds out more.


For many years I had heard tales of a Victorian street abandoned beneath busy Lawrence Hill. To add substance to the legend there were people who claimed to have seen it when they were young. They told me that this underground street stretched from Ducie Road, near the now closed Earl Russel pub, to the Packhorse pub, in tunnels under the road.


All had Victorian shop fronts, some still with their glass intact, and several street lamps still hung on the walls. Two hundred years ago the well-known Herapath family owned the brewery connected to the Packhorse. It stretched down to Duck Road (then called Pack Horse Lane) and as far back as Lincoln Street.

In 1832, a horse-drawn railway went through Lawrence Hill, next to the pub, with a wooden bridge over the top. When the Bristol and Gloucester Railway arrived on the scene William Herapath sold most of his estate to them for £3,000.


By 1879 this wooden bridge needed replacing, so the authorities decided they would heighten the road. In the process the Packhorse Inn - and the neighbouring shops - disappeared as the new road was supported on a series of arched tunnels.

The Street was later boarded up to stop the repeated theft d fittings fro the homes.

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