Sunday, 24 February 2013

Farewell Subways @ Bricklayers Arms Roundabout

The four subways (north, south, east and west) under the Bricklayers Arms roundabout on the Old Kent Road are due to be closed and filled in from 25th Feb 2013. 

I first got news of this when I saw a set of photographs on flickr by London SE1

I live just up the road from the roundabout but have only taken the odd photograph there - but with the urgency of only a week to go I set out to document the tunnels, stairwells, ramps  and the roundabout itself, driven by the poignancy that very soon it would no longer be possible to ever walk through them, and before long they would no longer exist - filled full of concrete.

During my time there over the past week I saw very few people passing through the subways and the park itself was mostly empty save for an occasional gathering of Polish drinkers. The tunnels can be lonely, eerie spaces but I've come to enjoy them, the concrete architecture of the ramps and stairwells and their siting within the roundabout. 

This afternoon a few of us pitched up at the roundabout to mark the closure of the subways - here are Deirdre's photos

So now that the tunnels are set to close I have to begin to figure out what to do with the stack of photographs and video I've amassed...

And finally here's a film clip from the 70's, flying along from Tower Bridge, down Great Dover Street and at about 1:25 there's the roundabout and the concrete structure of the stairwells and ramps


  1. The pictures all remind me of a movie starring Michael Caine. It was called "Harry Brown." Scenes in that movie are in a similar, sinister looking underpass. Makes me wonder if any of it was filmed here. Oh, and I enjoyed the flyover. Thanks.

  2. 'Harry Brown' was filmed just up the road on the Heygate estate at the Elephant and Castle, it's the same style of architecture.
    Here's an article about the last few residents still living there before that comes down too.

  3. Great bit of footage over Tabard. I notice the tank on the corner of Pages Walk was not there. One old bloke's been putting his life on it being left over from the war!