Cann Tunnel, also known as Leigham Tunnel by some local folk, was part of the Plymouth & Dartmoor Railway section between Crabtree & Roborough. It was built in the 1820's, by sinking a shaft which was then worked outwards. It was one of the first railway tunnels in England, & certainly the first in Plymouth.
The railway was the brainchild of Sir Thomas Tyrwhitt, who was also responsible for the earlier construction of Princetown & Dartmoor Prison, & its purpose was to to carry granite from the Dartmoor quarries, peat & local produce from farms into Plymouth.It was known as "The Dartmoor Gauge" due it's unusual dimensions being 4' 6" & wagons were horse drawn, not by locomotive. All of the track were removed in 1916, bar the section between Crabtree & Sutton Harbour in Plymouth, which was retained as part of the Lee Moor Tramway.

The tunnel itself is 620 yards in length & was adapted during WW2 as a deep shelter for the workers of Devonport Dockyard complete with a bus stop outside one entrance to transport workers into the dockyard, also containing bays for an underground hospital, should the Blitz on Plymouth get so bad. This would have accommodated up to 3000 people. After the war it was used by the Royal Navy for depth charges. In the 1950's it was noted as part of a Central Register of Underground Accommodation. Later on, in the 70's or 80's, a small section at one end of the tunnel was used as a garage by a local who has since relocated. This probably explains the remains of car parts which exist in there today.

Tunnels
Tunnels
Detail
Tunnels
Tunnels
Detail
Tunnels
Tunnels
Detail
Tunnels
Tunnels
Detail
Tunnels
Tunnels
Detail
 
 
Powered by Phoca Gallery