Random articles of interest

Graylingwell plan with well and springs ponds

Graylingwell plan with well and springs ponds.

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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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tunnels underneath Hansford Menswear

A number of those readers remembered a story about tunnels underneath Hansford Menswear, also in South Street, so we spoke the shop's owner to find out more Matthew Hansford described a blocked-off passage in cellar of the shop, which he believes may have led to the cathedral

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where are the tunnels?

claire mandville profile pic

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!

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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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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40 east street

EAST STREET No 40
SU 8604 NW 4/103
Grade II
C18. 3 storeys and attic. 2 windows. Red brick.

Panelled parapet hiding
dormers. Sash windows in reveals in flat arches; rubbed brick voussoirs; glazing bars missing in lower windows.

C20 plate glass shop front and fascia on ground floor.

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Old Barracks / Wellington Grange

Old Barracks / Wellington Grange

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Chichester Culverts

We do not suggest going into the culverts.
These are not classified as tunnels and can be dangerous

 video of culverts/storm drains/winterbourne route

 

Map of Chichester showing Rivers

 

www.streetmap.co.uk\\/map.srf?x=486359&y=104953&z=120&sv=chichester&st=3&tl=Map%20of%20Chichester%2C%20West%20Sussex%20[City%2FLarge%20Town]&searchp=ids.srf&mapp=map.srf&fbclid=IwAR2IV7YUeQ8u_GBTHRE24fSpUvVRwu5CpZxdPt1fs_injtw73WMxXbTQ25s

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