London’s drive thro’ basement

Few people know that one of London’s roads begins with a tunnel and ends by passing through basements/garage lots. Its very near Charing Cross and provides a useful shortcut from the Strand to the Victoria Embankment.

Its called Lower Robert Street, used mostly by taxis or trade vehicles. One can walk through it.

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This quirky little road was one of several built to serve the huge 18th century Adelphi overlooking the Thames. Lower Robert Street is the sole survivor.

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The street leads off York Place and below the former Caledonian Hotel before entering into Savoy Place (formerly Durham Yard.) It actually runs beneath Robert Street, which is why its known as ‘Lower.’

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View down Robert Street. The ‘Lower’ runs below.

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The narrow tunnel section has a very sharp bend. Notice the double yellow lines!

The old Adelphi was demolished in the 1930s but Lower Robert Street avoided that fate. How? It had its own separate entrance and served buildings that were not part of the Adelphi so had a future role.

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One might mistakenly assume it’s just garages and parking lots down here… 🙂

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As this motorcyclist knows, its a through route leading to the Victoria Embankment.

Central London’s ‘Three Bridges?’:

The next pic shows Robert Street uses a bridge as it turns to the Adelphi Terrace. The stairs lead to Savoy Place. Lower Robert Street is right underneath these steps – so we have what’s practically a homage to Brunel’s Three Bridges at Hanwell 🙂

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A bridge (Robert St), a flight of steps (another bridge) and Lower Robert St at the bottom of it all!

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The bottom end of Lower Robert Street.

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Savoy Place from the Adelphi. The yellow box marks the bottom of Lower Robert Street.

Look for the odd collection of bollards at the bottom of Lower Robert Street. No-one seem to know what they are there for. Perhaps there was a much wider entrance from Savoy Place (formerly Adelphi Arches) to the Victoria Embankment Gardens at one time. Alas there’s nothing to prove this on old maps so the bollards are a mystery.

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Three of the bollards are very old and complement the three standard City bollards (Westminster.) Curiously there’s a St Marylebone one. One wonders how that got here as Oxford Street is the old borough’s southernmost boundary!

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