Catesby Tunnel began construction as a Victorian railway tunnel in February 1895 and was completed in just over two years in May 1897. The railway line was part of the Great Central’s ‘London Extension’ with the first train running through in July 1898. The railway tunnel was in service for 68 years until its operational retirement in September 1966. The underground nature of the construction was a result of Catesby Estate owner, Henry Attenborough, objecting to unsightly trains passing through the landscape. Approximately 30 million bricks were required to construct the perfectly straight 2.7km long tunnel.