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claire mandville

Are you curious about the tunnels in Chichester? If you are, you are not alone. Many people have wondered about the existence and purpose of these underground passages that are said to run under the city. Some claim they have seen them, others have heard stories about them, but what is the truth behind the mystery?

In this blog post, I will try to shed some light on the tunnels in Chichester, based on some web searches and historical sources. I will also share some of the rumours and legends that surround them, and invite you to share your own experiences or opinions in the comments section.

What are the tunnels in Chichester?

The tunnels in Chichester are a network of underground passages that are believed to date back to Roman times or earlier. They are said to follow the old foundations of the Roman wall on the east side of the city centre, and to connect various buildings and landmarks, such as the cathedral, the market cross, and the crypt.

The tunnels have been rumoured to serve different purposes over time, such as smuggling routes, secret passages for clergy, hiding places during the Reformation, or escape routes during wars or invasions. Some people also think that poet John Keats used the tunnels for inspiration when he wrote The Eve of St Agnes in Chichester in 1819.

However, there is little concrete evidence to support these claims, and most of them are based on hearsay or speculation. The tunnels have been blocked off or filled in over time, making them inaccessible or invisible to most people. Only a few traces of them remain, such as a blocked-off passage in the cellar of Hansfords Menswear shop, or a dark tunnel under the crypt where a schoolgirl claimed to have visited in the 1940s.

What do experts say about the tunnels?

The existence and origin of the tunnels in Chichester have been a subject of interest for archaeologists and historians for many years. However, they have not been able to confirm or deny their presence or function with certainty.

One of them is Claire Mandville, She has been researching the tunnels in Chichester for a while, and has interviewed several people who claim to have seen or heard about them.

She said: "There's definitely something there but it's hard to say what it is. It could be anything from drainage systems to cellars to actual tunnels. It's possible that some of them were used for smuggling or other purposes but it's hard to prove. I think they are fascinating and I would love to explore them if I could."

Also plans to expand his research and investigations on the tunnels, and to involve more of the local community in his project. She said: "I think it's important to document them before they are lost or forgotten. It's a great way to engage people with their local heritage and culture."

What do you think about the tunnels?

The tunnels in Chichester remain a mystery that intrigues many people. Whether they are real or not, they have inspired stories and legends that add to the charm and character of the city. What do you think about them? Have you ever seen them or heard about them? Do you have any theories or questions about them? Let me know in the comments below!

Random articles of interest

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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Russilon Barracks

The Chichester SMR holds information for 48 sites, whilst the National Monuments Record
Centre holds details of a further 16 sites within the study area. An additional four sites were
located through analysis of historic mapping and during the course of the walkover survey and
one from aerial photographs. Full site descriptions and locations can be seen in Appendix B.
Within the report, the bracketed numbers after site descriptions relate to those allocated to
individual sites in Appendix B and on Figure 2.

Read more: Russilon Barracks

Graylingwell plan with well and springs ponds

Graylingwell plan with well and springs ponds.

Read more: Graylingwell plan with well and springs ponds

The Buttery

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

Read more: The Buttery

27 East street

MB
My mum worked 27 east street and when it flooded in the 90s they found a big cellar and you could look down into an area which was like a tunnel

st johns church

About 50 years ago in the vestry of St. John’s Church In Chichester a flag stone was taken up by some teenagers and a tunnel was revealed. Apparently it runs along under St Johns Street in a south / north direction

.MS

Read more: st johns church

Featured in Chichester Observer

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.', '

Read more: Featured in Chichester Observer

researching properties using the council planning system

An introduction to researching properties

Archaeological Evaluation at Lower Graylingwell, Chichester

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
records of Mesolithic finds within 500m of the site.
2.1.3 Early Neolithic pits containing pottery and flintwork were found at Baxendale Avenue some 150m
south of the site, and four small pits, one containing later Neolithic pottery, during evaluation a

Read more: Archaeological Evaluation at Lower Graylingwell, Chichester

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