The Dark Hole of Doom

Richard asks:

“I was wandering down to Wickes along Blackheath Road yesterday to buy a new paintbrush when I happened to notice a large hole (maybe a couple of metres square) in the pavement. It’s right on the corner of the cross roads, where Blackheath Rd meets Lewisham Rd. Being a nosy sort, I peered in as far as I could (it was surrounded by a safety fence and already full of obligatory random rubbish like beer bottles and shoes – grrrrr).

Interestingly, there seemed to be a brick passage that ran off from the hole, in the direction of Lewisham.

Any idea what this may be and how far it runs? How did the hole come to be exposed anyway?”

The Phantom replies:

I haven’t seen this. Are you sure it’s not part of the seemingly-everlasting programme of water mains replacement? Though I confess a brick-lined passage says ‘sewer’ to me. In Victorian times, even the humblest of sewers were rather beautifully executed, which makes them look like secret tunnels rather than back passages…

If it’s not either of those, then I have no clue. Has anyone else seen this hole – or does anyone know what it is?

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