Health and safety bosses at Derby City Council have called a stop to walking tours exploring tunnels beneath Derby city centre.
The ancient brick-lined routes run through the Market Place, the Strand and other spots underneath the city.
And another was discovered as recently as 2009 behind a hidden doorway in the cellar of the Dolphin pub, in Queen Street.
But the most popular tunnel is one that is accessed from the Tiger bar in Derby’s Lock Up Yard – between Corn Market and the Guildhall.
For more than two decades ghost walks of up to 30 people, run by Richard Felix, would tip-toe into the pub’s cellar and explore the spooky brick-lined passages.
The barrel-vaulted tunnels, made of two “corridors” measuring around 25 feet each, plus several large alcoves, were once used to transfer prisoners to court.
They are blocked off at the far end by a locked door – which is thought would lead on to many more secret passageways – maintained by Derby City Council.
But in February last year the Tiger’s landlord, Jonathan “Charlie” May, received a letter from a senior estates surveyor at the council.
It said: “Following an urgent review of safety measures of visitors in the Guildhall tunnels, the council has regrettably had to make the decision to not permit any further walking tours of the tunnels for the foreseeable future.
“The council recognises the historic interest in the tunnels and is exploring opportunities to again open the tunnels to the paying public in a safe and secure environment.”
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