The Underground Street Buried Beneath Keighley’s Royal Arcade

(Image credit: Flickr user simon sugden)

In 1901, the town of Keighley, West Yorkshire, UK, built an entirely new shopping district over top of a street of abandoned shops. The street level was adjusted, and new shop owners moved into the new Royal Arcade. The original shopping center was now underground, used as storage cellars for some of the new shops, but completely forgotten by everyone else. For a hundred years. Construction work in 2003 brought the underground street to public attention.

(Image credit: Flickr user simon sugden)

When builders found their way into the secret street more than a century later, while working in the cellars of the shops above, they discovered the original wooden shop-fronts and stable pens hauntingly frozen in time.

Electric lighting was installed to make the space easier to navigate during reconstruction work and it’s understood that various period items were also added for the benefit of future tours. Other items, however, may have been left over from the Victorian era, largely undisturbed since the abandoned underground street was sealed off and forgotten.

There are now plans to restore the complex and open it up to the public as a glimpse into the past. You can see plenty of pictures of this subterranean time capsule at Urban Ghosts.  

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