The mysterious tunnels used by smugglers and secret societies that still exist beneath Derby today

The Derby Catacombs are arguably the cities best kept secret
Did you know that Derby is hiding a mysterious series of secret tunnels?Did you know that Derby is hiding a mysterious series of secret tunnels?
Did you know that Derby is hiding a mysterious series of secret tunnels?

Did you know that Derby is hiding a big, dark secret?

A hidden world lurks beneath the bustling streets - a labyrinth of historic tunnels that few are aware of.

These hidden passageways, known as the Derby Catacombs and other subterranean networks, offer an intriguing glimpse into the city's rich history, featuring tales of bygone eras, smugglers, and forgotten mysteries.

Read more: Love Derby

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Derby's underground tunnels date back centuries, with some constructed for practical purposes such as beer cellars and storage, while others held more clandestine uses.

As the city developed over time, these tunnels became an integral part of its infrastructure, serving purposes beyond the eyes of the public.

One of the most captivating aspects of the city's underground world is the Derby Catacombs. This network of tunnels is shrouded in mystery, with tales of secret societies, covert meetings, and illicit activities.

The maze of secret trails had previously attracted the attention of ghost hunters who wanted to uncover stories from times gone by.

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For more than two decades tours took place beneath the surface of the city, but they have since been banned due to safety concerns.

Some of the tunnels such as the one from the Tiger Bar to the Corn Market are well known by locals but many remain unknown by even long-time residents.

During the Victorian era, the tunnels were used to transport prisoners between the police station at "Lock-Up Yard" and the Courts of Assizes, held at the Guildhall.

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According to local news reports at the time, a hidden passageway was discovered behind a doorway in the cellar of The Dolphin pub as recently as 2009.

It is reported that the tunnels were used by grave robbers who would deliver bodies to a doctor who once lived in the building, which dates back to 1530. As you can imagine the story goes that the depraved doctor would carry out horrifying (and illegal) dissections on the corpses.