Stephenson's Vaults Traditional Geocache
Use of geocaching.com services is subject to the terms and conditions in our disclaimer
Placed on the towpath of the Regents canal, at about head height, this cache is near one of the prettiest sections of this urban waterway. The terrain is flat, with steps in many places down to the towpath. This path is often quite busy with pedestrians and cyclists, and some of the bridges over the canal can be quite low. The cache is homemade and a bit battered but sturdy enough. Hidden on the dry side of the towpath.
One of the first inter-city railway lines in the world, the London and Birmingham Railway, was built in 1837. To build it as flat as possible (for early steam trains didn't like hills) major earthworks were undertaken along it's route. The main line to Birmingham sweeps over one's head here, but there is a significant but imperceptible slope down to Euston station caused by the requirement for the railway when built to pass over the canal and under the Hampstead road 3/4 of a mile to the south. As a consequence of this incline vast steam winches were built to haul the carriages on a cable one mile up to Camden to be attached to the locomotives for onward travel, whilst coming in to London they were allowed to roll under gravity (and brakes) down to the terminus. This state of affairs only lasted from 1837-1844, after which the steam winding engines were shut down, locomotives being used from the terminal from then on. The vaults which housed the boilers and winding gear are still present on the north bank of the canal although the ground level buildings have all gone, including the 133 foot high chimneys. What does remain is a secret passage from the towpath very close to the cache- heavily locked to stop the inquisitive- which can be seen curving away into the darkness if you peer through the cracks. It has been assumed that it was because the locomotives of the time lacked the power to tackle the incline that the cable system was built, but the is some evidence that under the Parlimentry act granted before the line was built Lord Southampton (who owned land next to the track) prohibited the use of locomotives in the Euston area which was then being developed as residential building land. Hidden on the feast of St. Clotsindis
Yrsg unaq pevzc