Forgotten Tunnels
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Glasgow Clyde River Tunnel
a.k.a. Glasgow Harbour Tunnel Company

Southern Rotunda
The Northern Rotunda converted into a Casino-Resaturant.


Under Clyde river, between Plantation and Finnieston, Glasgow, Scotland.

1895 - 1980

Set of three under river tunnels, 700ft long, two horizontal for horse drawn vehicles, one pedestrian subway. Access to vehicle tunnels via hydraulic lifts, shaft depth: 80ft.


Note: Promoters of the Glasgow Harbour Tunnel Company were the same involved in the Glasgow cable hauled Subway/Underground.

A contemporary description (2001) of the Southern Rotunda:
Sandy Forbes, a visitor to this site, e-mailed me in november 2001 a description of a visit to the disused Southern Rotunda. Interestingly, Sandy refutes the existence of the two horizontal tunnels reported elsewhere (including by the custodian of the tunnel premises I met during my 1970 visit).

Southern Rotunda
The disused Southern Rotunda

"Now disused and locked. The first floor has been removed although the steel frame still remains and the lift shaft has been bricked up. The stairs are accessed through a door from the outside and the tunnel is reportedly still navigable although the lighting has been removed.... The North access was blocked when the North Rotunda was converted into a casino. There is only one tunnel about 10' in diameter and not three. Access to three tunnels from each Rotunda would have required a large underground access area which does not exist. The rumour that the tunnel was used for horse drawn vehicles is a myth. The tunnel was a foot tunnel only and appears as such on old maps. We always knew it as the foot tunnel. The lifts were hydraulic water lifts as were so many buildings along the Clyde and many of the lifts still work. Water from the river was pumped through 6" diameter mains with a wall thickness of 1.5" having huge elliptical compression joints held together by two 1.5" diameter bolts. Last visited January 2000. We were not allowed into the tunnel for safety reasons and were not in fact there to see the tunnel but for another totally unrelated project.

The South Rotunda is built into steeply sloping ground sloping south to north and the access for passengers was at first floor level. There is still evidence of brick walls at lower level for toilets, staff rooms etc and some redundant electrical equipment. The building is in reasonably good condition."

Many thanks to Sandy for this testimony. Now the debate is open: are the two road tunnels a reality or another urban legend? Waiting your comments using my Contact Page


Northern Rotunda
Another view of the Northern Rotunda by Ian Britton / courtesy Freefoto.


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© 1998-2002 by Frédéric Delaitre
Updated: 02/03/01


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