One of the most common questions I’m asked about Peterborough’s history is whether there are any tunnels under the city. Local legends say that there is a tunnel stretching from the Cathedral to Monk’s Cave at Longthorpe. Similar tunnels are alleged to stretch from the Cathedral to the abbeys at Thorney or Crowland.

 

These are familiar myths in many historic cities across the UK, mostly urban legends based on half remembrances of sewers, cellars or crawlspaces, coupled with wishful thinking and rumour.

 

The stories of tunnels from Peterborough to

Thorney or Crowland are wildly improbable as the latter places were too far away.

 

They were also Fenland islands, so any medieval tunnel would have been underwater!

 

The persistent story of a tunnel from the Cathedral to Monk’s Cave can also be ruled out, not only because of distance and geology, but because the cave is a later creation. Rather than being medieval it is an 18 th century folly, an artificial cave excavated as a garden feature for the amusement of the gentry from Thorpe Hall to explore.

 

There is a tunnel of sorts under the Cathedral, perhaps the origin of some of these stories.

 

It stretches about 50 metres, from the south aisle to the south transept, and was excavated in the 1880s.

 

At that time, the main tower of the Cathedral was in danger of collapse, so was disassembled, underpinned and then painstakingly reconstructed. During these works the Victorian engineers uncovered foundations of the 10th century Saxon church underneath and left a tunnel for the curious to be able to view these remains. Sadly, for both safety reasons and the conservation of the remains, this tunnel is not open to visitors.

 

Archaeologists now think that the remains in this tunnel may be more significant than previously thought, identifying some of the stonework as being distinctively Roman. A carving in the south transept traditionally thought to be Anglo-Saxon and nicknamed the ‘Dancing Bishops’, is now identified as being Roman, possibly representing the Fates. An archaeological dig that took place in the Precincts last summer uncovered large amounts of Roman pottery. As such we can be confident there was a Roman building, possibly a temple, where the Cathedral is today, making the site much older than previously thought.

 

For more details on both events visit www.peterborough- cathedral.org.uk.

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SU 8604 NW 4/103
Grade II
C18. 3 storeys and attic. 2 windows. Red brick.

Panelled parapet hiding
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C20 plate glass shop front and fascia on ground floor.

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There is rumoured to be a tunnel from the white horse to the buttery and then from the buttery to the cathedral.

Regarding a tunnel from the crypt to the cathedral. Apparently Keats while upstairs being "entertained" watched the monks lock the gate to the cathedral. Now did he have xray specs on ??? That''s the pic of the guy gesturing towards the shelves is where the door way used to be

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summersdale golf course and mr Stride

Between The Drive’s western and southern ends, Charles Stride built a private estate in c.1905 which included a nine hole golf course designed by James Braid, a lodge (Uplands), and a mansion (Woodland Place) with tree-lined grounds which, as Rew Lane, was developed in the late 1950s. The golf course was too close to the Goodwood course to be a commercial success and it was given up for gravel extraction immediately prior to the first World War, with a mineral branch line connected later to the Chichester-Midhurst railway.
His golf course and pavilion is mentioned in https://golfsmissinglinks.co.uk/index.php/england/south-east/sussex/851-sus-summersdale-golf-club-chichester

The club was founded in 1904.

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Archaeological and Historical Background
2.1.1 An Archaeological Desk-based Assessment was produced for the site in 2014 (AMEC 2015),
and a summary of the key findings are reproduced below.
2.1.2 A small Palaeolithic handaxe was found in an evaluation 150m east of the site. There are no
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65 East Street

DD
I worked at 65 East Street when it was ''Hammick''s Bookshop'' (now Specsavers). We had a trapdoor in the middle of the floor that led down to a tunnel-shaped cellar that seemed to extend through the front of the shop and under the pavement outside. I didn''t see any evidence of it ever having joined another tunnel and imagine that perhaps there was once an opening in the pavement for deliveries.

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Old Barracks / Wellington Grange

Old Barracks / Wellington Grange

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building a cellar

cellar image

Historically, to build a house with a simple cellar you would dig out the ground to a depth of around 6ft, the cellar walls would have been constructed with a lining of stone or brick and with a drain for water within the cellar. The floors would have been built up on crushed stone or sand to provide a level surface and paved, usually with flags. Brick paving became more common in later periods.

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White Horse / Prezzo

whitehorse

Max T
I recall that there is a short length of tunnel (blocked off at both ends) under the old White Horse pub in South St. (now Prezzo restaurant, since 2005). Story in the pub was that it was part of a tunnel running from the Cathedral up to the Guildhall in Priory Park. Although the tunnel is there, I was never sure of its true purpose or the truth of its start / finish. Thought that it was worth mentioning it on here though.


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It was under the Crypt and right next to the cathedral

inside buttery

Maureen Williams, 82, of Westgate, recalled a school trip into the rumoured tunnels under Chichester when she was at Chichester High School for Girls.

 

She estimates she was in her early teens at the time and said she chose to share her memories after reading about the search for evidence in this newspaper.

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