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NWRG: What lies beneath? The mysteries of the Williamson Tunnels, Liverpool

18 February 2024
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Event type:
Regional Group, Geology walk, Tour, Field trip
Organised by:
Geological Society Events, North West Regional Group
Williamson Tunnels Heritage Centre, Smithdown Lane, Liverpool, L7 3EE
Event status:

Date, time and location

Date: Sunday 18 February 2024

Times: Meet at 10.15am, to leave at 10.30am. The walk will be under three miles, and will end at 11.30am.

Meeting place: The Old Stableyard, Williamson Tunnels Heritage Centre, Smithdown Lane, Liverpool, L7 3EE

Event details

The Williamson ‘tunnels’ are a hidden labyrinth of around 15 ‘tunnels’ cut into Permo-Triassic sandstone, in what is now a suburb of Liverpool. Joseph Williamson (1769-1840) was an affluent tobacco merchant residing in Edge Hill during Liverpool’s heyday as a commercial port. Edge Hill at the time was an undeveloped sandstone outcrop overlooking the bustle of Liverpool city. 

The Williamson Tunnels Heritage Centre provides an insight into the fascinating underground world created by Joseph Williamson in the early 19th Century. The Joseph Williamson Society will guide this 45-minute tour through a section of the network of tunnels and view exhibitions that depict the life and times of one of Liverpool's most eccentric characters.


There is a small café and exhibition area, available to look around before or after the tour.


Regretfully, the tunnel network is not suitable for wheelchair users. Only the café, exhibition area and the toilets are accessible. Visitors with limited mobility are usually able to complete the tour. Please see the event flyer for more information.

This trip is not suitable for dogs. However, guide dogs are welcomed. Visitors will be able to feel the sandstone and brick tunnels, hear the history of Williamson and his network and feel some of the artefacts found in the tunnels.

If you have additional needs, please contact the NWRG Secretary, Nick Smith at: [email protected] so he can make arrangements with the centre to ensure you have an enjoyable visit.

Sensible shoes and warm clothing are recommended.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

This event may be considered for contributing to a recognised continuing professional development (CPD) scheme as part of personal development. Delegates should check their individual scheme requirements.

Further information and booking

There are up to 15 spaces available on the tour. To book a place, please email your name and telephone number to the NWRG Secretary, Nick Smith at: [email protected]


A £4 payment will be required on the day of the tour. This can be made by cash or card. 

For further information about the event, please email Nick using the email address above.