Why this 'hidden' Nottingham tunnel was abandoned immediately after being made

The designers made one huge error
Park Tunnel, NottinghamPark Tunnel, Nottingham
Park Tunnel, Nottingham

If you’ve ever tried your hand at home DIY you’ll know the feeling of finishing a project, only to realise that what you’ve made is either at an angle or doesn’t fit properly. 

It’s never nice to put effort into something and then notice that you’ve made an almighty error, but often these mistakes can be easily corrected. 

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But sometimes, particularly on large construction projects where large sums of money are involved, mistakes aren’t as easy to fix. 

For example, imagine spending years creating a city centre tunnel and then realising that all your hard work was in vain because the tunnel is too steep for its intended use. 

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Well, that’s exactly what those involved in the construction of Nottingham’s Park Tunnel experienced upon its completion in 1855. 

In the mid-19th century, the area behind Nottingham Castle was a private hunting park used by those who resided in the castle. 

The tunnel was never used for its intended purposeThe tunnel was never used for its intended purpose
The tunnel was never used for its intended purpose

Around this time, the Fifth Duke of Newcastle decided that part of this area should be luxury living accommodation for the city’s middle classes. 

The Duke commissioned architect T.C. Hine to create a grand entrance to this swanky new neighbourhood, which would later become known as The Park estate.

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Hine was instructed to build a tunnel with a gradient of 1 in 14, to allow for heavy horse-drawn carriages to pass through. 

However, once the tunnel was completed, Hine discovered a major problem.

With a gradient of 1 in 12, the new tunnel was far too steep for even the strongest of horses to use. As a result, the tunnel was abandoned and an alternative road entrance to The Park was made. 

Nowadays, the 350-foot-long Park Tunnel is used by pedestrians accessing The Park from Derby Road, Upper College Street and The Ropewalk.