Police investigate after suspected human bone found in Williamson Tunnels in Liverpool

The Williamson Tunnels are beneath the city of Liverpool. Credit: ITV News

Historic tunnels in Liverpool have been cordoned off by police after an archaeological dig uncovered a suspected human bone.

The bone fragments were found in the Williamson Tunnels beneath the Edge Hill area of the city on Friday, 24 March.

Forensic officers attended the site and tests are being carried out to confirm the "type and provenance of the bone", Merseyside Police say.

The area has been sealed off and the dig has been suspended while investigations are being carried out.

A spokesperson from the heritage centre said archeologists found several rib bones - of which one may be human - five metres below the original tunnel floor level.

Volunteers have spent the past two decades digging underground in a bid to clear the network of passages and turn them into a tourist attraction.

The labyrinth of tunnels were built in the Edge Hill area of Liverpool by eccentric philanthropist and trader Joseph Williamson in the 1800s - but no one knows why.

There are several theories, the most common being that Williamson used them to quarry stone and create work for unskilled labourers.

However, some theorise the Williamsons were part of an extreme religion that believed in an impending apocalypse and they could use the tunnels to avoid the catastrophe, emerging later to rebuild the city.

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