Curious Pipes

Okay – here’s a thing. Esther noted this odd looking pipe – and its friends – a couple of days ago while she was up the top of the park near the tennis courts and wondered what they’re for.

It’s clearly old, strong, and has been painted at least once. a jazzy turquoise colour. There’s no obvious coupling point for a hosepipe, and there are a whole load of them in a row:

If you want a bit of context, here’s the wide shot:

They all point in the same direction, and away from the path so my first thought, that they are guides for hosepipes or some kind of rope-thing for stretching lines across some kind of sports pitch, seems a bit redundant.

Perhaps they’re other kinds of guides for some odd sport? Or, and here’s a strange suggestion, maybe they’re miniature stink pipes or air vents for tunnels below? I don’t know of a tunnel that high up, but since I also don’t know of a modern map of the tunnels in Greenwich (park or otherwise) it’s possible I guess.

What do you think? Miniature earth-based submarines? Worm sculptures? Or the Secret Underground Headquarters of Doom for a local Evil Genius?

So – suggestions on a virtual postcard, please. Or in the comments above, of course….


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16 Comments to “Curious Pipes”

  1. Tim Robinson says:

    Isn’t the old reservoir next to the tennis courts?

  2. Pedro says:

    The pipes look as if they’re from the same era as the hardware around the reservoir, I think, which is on the top of the hill, next to the tennis courts. So perhaps the pipes are an overflow?

  3. Oh, clever – yes that would make sense.

    But maybe someone has an even better suggestion?

  4. Joe R says:

    Reservoirs were always put on the top of hills so gravity supplies the water pressure.
    Reservoirs have vents like this.
    Reservoirs are usually grassed over but nothing with foundations (buildings, trees) can be put on top so they are ideal for tennis courts. I know a reservoir in North London with an archery club on top.
    Access to reservoirs is usually restricted (to stop people poisoning the water?) so they are usually private clubs rather than public parks.
    I’ll bet there is a reservoir under there.

  5. David says:

    Yes, definitely ventilation for whatever is down below. They have that peculiar shape to avoid getting rain water down there.

  6. Well, there is the big, circular reservoir – I thought it was further down. Perhaps there’s another…

  7. David Porter says:

    Yup. they’re reservoir vents/overflows.

  8. Stuart says:

    Just been for a walk to find the pipes. They are on top of the old reservoir so are almost certainly vent pipes.

  9. Thanks Stuart – mystery solved. Though I am sure the lucky gnomes are using it as an underground swimming pool, Benedict.

  10. Esther says:

    Well, that was informative. Thank you for solving the mystery so efficiently.

    I quite liked the idea of gnomes having a swim though..

  11. Stephen says:

    Of course we are not supposed to go inside the resevoir, but many years ago I went in there several times. There used to be a hut right in the middle.

  12. Stephen – you can’t leave it at that! More details required!!

  13. Stephen says:

    The hut was I think a very similar size to the ones which had the telephone (to be used in case of emergency) to contact the park police.

  14. The Rambler says:

    Definitely vent pipes to allow exit of nasty gases. BUT does anyone know if and what the reservoir supplies?