This is what the mysterious tunnel found underneath Sheffield social club is

The tunnel found on the site of the former Holme Lea social club, Handsworth. Picture: John Turner.
The tunnel found on the site of the former Holme Lea social club, Handsworth. Picture: John Turner.
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History buffs believe they have found out what a mysterious tunnel unearthed by construction workers demolishing a former Sheffield social club was used for.

Tony Holmes, of Handsworth Historical Society, said the tunnel, which was found on the site of the former Holme Lea club on Handsworth Road, was a former drain built in around 1880.

The find sparked a debate in the area around the former club, which closed in January 2017, and residents called for work to be halted until it was known what the tunnel was.

Mr Holmes said: "We believe it's a drain built in 1880 and the people who built it put their name on the inside of it.

"It was originally a culvert and then it was capped. Unfortunately, despite how excited everyone got, it's not a tunnel."

Mr Holmes said the society discussed the tunnel at a meeting on Monday after some residents thought it may have been ran through to St Mary's Church on the other side of Handsworth Road.

He added: "Handsworth Road used to be a narrow lane and the buildings on Medlock Road, next to the club, were demolished to make way for the tram system.

"The only thing that's concerning now is the size of it because Handsworth Road is a main bus route and a busy road."

Sandra Gillott, chairperson of Handsworth, said ordnance survey maps dating back to 1890 showed that the tunnel was labelled 'SD' - which stood for side drain.

Holme Lea club, which dated back to at least the 1920s, closed last year.