Stairway to Heaven
Stairway to Heaven is a culvert which drains the water from 2 streams around the eastern end of Eccup reservoir and into a stream below the reservoir embankment.
The 2 inlets merge after a short distance underground.
The eastern inlet is here;
and the western inlet is here;
The culvert eventually reaches the outfall and cascades down a staircase of 142 steps.
The easiest way to get into the culvert, at present, is to climb the staircase and enter the culvert at the outfall. This entrance is gated, but was unlocked at the time of my visit. It may be locked after the construction work finishes, but there are other ways in.
Initially, the passage is about five feet high and 4 feet wide. Notice the construction, it seems to have been built as an open channel and had the roof added later. The new roof continues all way along the culvert and is poor quality, compared to the earlier brick work.
After a short distance in, a 3 feet diameter passage enters from the right.
This passage leads to the surface after a very short distance and can be used as an alternative entrance, if the outfall gate is ever locked.
After the side passage, the main passage gets slightly smaller to 4 feet high and remains at this height.
The passage continues, with some gentle curves.
There are several square gaps in the roof, leading to locked manhole covers.
A couple have steel ladders.
They look like this, on the surface.
The next feature is the junction where the passage divides into 2 branches.
The left branch leads to the east inlet.
The right branch leads to the west inlet. It is silted to over 6 inches in places and not very pleasant.
It is possible to squeeze under the inlet gates, if you don't mind getting wet.
I preferred to go back to the outfall.
2 extra features are worth mentioning.
The North culvert
A short section of new culvert runs under the northern end of the road across the embankment.
This section looks promising, but is so short that it can be done without a light.
The water from this outfall runs diagonally across the embankment to join the outfall from the main culvert.
The embankment tunnel
There is a gated tunnel entrance at the bottom of the embankment.
Daylight can be seen in the tunnel. It comes from a vertical shaft, with grill, about a third of the way up the embankment.
The lid is now locked, but it was open.
At the bottom of the shaft, a passage leads in one direction to the bottom of the embankment.
The other direction is bricked up. I would like to know where this leads to.