Urban exploration, ey? One of them things we all would love to do though few of us ever dare.
Take these lads, for example, prime examples of dreamers, the lot of ’em. Unlike most who venture around places visible to the naked eye, one group of friends decided to uncover a drain to find an entire hidden underground city below the streets of Manchester.
One of the explorers films the revellers wandering through a locked away gem of dingy tunnels and rooms, passing windows harrowed by bullets believe it or not.
One of them yells “What the f***!” as they scale the secret premises, which is news to me.
At one point, the camera reveals an arch with the words: “Medical Post” and “Victoria Arches” written overhead.
One explorer stops to ask, “Have we actually just walked into a city under Manchester?” It would seem so. The group then discover a sprawling bathroom with tons of urinals and toilets.
Victoria Arches (otherwise known as the Cathedral Steps) is an area with many layers of history. The story goes back to the ancient days of Manchester where the city was little more than a settlement surrounded with water based defences—the Irwell, the Irk and Hanging Ditch.
The road’s original level sloped towards a bridge at Hunts Bank over the River Irk and was later levelled out by the creation of a new embankment with a row of arched supports raising the road to a new level between 1833 and 1838.
In 1906 the stages closed and with the advent of WW2 the arches were converted into air raid shelters for 1,619 occupants.
After the shelter closed access to the public toilets remained via a staircase near to the cathedral, roughly where the four trees are outside Hanging Ditch Wine Merchants marked by the pin on the map. Other entrances existed via wooden steps from both Victoria Bridge and Cathedral Approach.
The group claim to have been spooked by sounds heard along the underground.
Their cavorts down beneath the mean streets of Manchester city centre have been viewed over half a million times.