Tunnels under Tideswell

Any Tideswellian knows that there are Tunnels under the village. However, it seems that in living memory the number of people who have actually been down into these tunnels is few and far between.

For whatever reason, it is a topic that has fallen from the collective memory of the village.

Why might there Be Tunnels under the village?

I remember reading as a boy that there was a tunnel from Blake House to Eccles Hall. It was in the little blue book that every Tideswell family seemed to have “A History of Tideswell by  W. Walker; 1951.

In addition to this there was always talk of a tunnel that led from Tindalls Shop to the Church opposite. Tindalls used to serve as a Gaol, long before it was utilised as a bakery.

Then I heard that there was….

  • A Tunnel from the Church to Church Avenue, number 1 or number 2.
  • A Tunnel from Swarbricks shop to Tindalls
  • A Tunnel / Priest hole in the Star which might go to the Vicarage or Blake House
  • A Tunnel from the Church to Wheston
  • A Tunnel from the Church to Monksdale.
Tideswell Tunnels

Tideswell Tunnels

Tunnels under Tidza Video

With all these supposed Tunnels, it’s a wonder Tidza doesn’t collapse into a subterranean labyrinth.  So  I raised the question via You Tube and the Facebook Group “Tideswell People”.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/21177142561/

Tunnels under Tideswell

So again, I say to you, good people of Tideswell.  Where are these Tunnels, and if you have access to one, can I come and photograph it…or its blocked up entrance?  I want to get into these tunnels if possible.  Tideswell deserves to know its history.

Tunnels Under Tideswell Part 1 |  Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

22 thoughts on “Tunnels under Tideswell

  1. If I can do anything to help Phil I will I hope you get some more information I will contact Brian Woodhall e may know something of interest as he is very knowledgeable. Good luck with this new venture Phil.

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  3. Hi Phil. There was a tunnel from No 3 Church Avenue (can’t comment on no’s 1 & 2 though) which I have always believed went to the Church. Just before my grandma moved in (Audrey Fletcher), all the internal levels within the building were gutted and rebuilt to modern standards. Unfortunately, this involved filling in the cellar which blocked the doorway to the tunnel. My uncle, Duncan Fletcher, carried out the work but i’m not sure if he attempted to go down it….. I will have to seek more info myself.

  4. Pingback: Tideswell Tunnels Part 4 | A Tideswellman's Weblog

  5. When I initially commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments
    are added- checkbox and now every time a comment
    is added I receive 4 emails with the exact same comment. Perhaps there is
    a means you can remove me from that service? Kudos!

  6. Hey up Phil
    Only just found your site re tunnels
    In my youth I can remember myself and Roger Flint (we were maybe only about 10 or 11 ) making it our school summer holidays mission to find this so called tunnel from monksdale to the church.
    After days of searching we did indeed find a cave on the hillside after talking to lots of the older local people who gave us the directions of its whereabouts
    This was supposed to be the fabled entrance to the tunnel
    The following day all exited we equipped ourselves with rope ,torches etc and set off on our big adventure
    We tied the rope to a nearby tree and entered the cave it sloped gently in for about 20 ft then there was a drop down
    This is it we though so we lowered ourselves down to the bottom a drop of maybe 8 ft or so only to find a dead end with nothing but a plank of wood laid in the bottom of it
    I suppose it may have been used as a hiding place for the monks who allegedly lived down in the dale as I believe there are still the foundations of a small building down there which we also found
    Rumours are that it was the foundations to a small building that the persecuted monks built
    Hope this helps mate
    Cheers Gary

    • Thanks Gary, Good to read your story. I have heard similar ones from one or two other folk in Tidza. Seems I’m the only bloke who doesn’t actually know the location to that tunnel entrance.

      • The entrance is called ‘Blanket Hole Cave’. If you stand on the road facing into Monks Dale, climb over the wall, walk until the valley narrows and turn 90 degrees left up the hillside for about 100 yards.

      • I know exactly where that cave is. I’ve been down it too…its as Gary said.. But I do remember stones piled up one side. So there could be something like a small hole hidden. Maybe I’m wrong. I know of a few other caves around there too. Used to go down them when I was young with candles. Bit silly as I didnt tell anyone where I was!
        Kevin chapel told me about some others around there and my Dad Ian Carline. Will venture there again soon. I’l let you know what I find.

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  8. Pingback: Tideswell Tunnels Part 2 | Tideswellman – Derbyshire Blogger & Fellrunner

  9. Pingback: Tideswell Tunnels – Part 3 | Tideswellman – Derbyshire Blogger & Fellrunner

  10. Pingback: Tideswell Tunnels Part 4 | Tideswellman – Derbyshire Blogger & Fellrunner

  11. My grandfather owned Eccles Hall when I was a kid. His name was Dr Humphrey Brookes. The last time our family met at the home I was probably 4 or 5 (1968ish) years old and visiting from Canada were we lived. I specifically remember my father David Brookes telling me the story of the tunnel between Eccles Hall and Blake House. He had grown up in Eccles Hall. I also remember him taking me down a set of steep, narrow stairs to a small cellar where he showed me the walled up and plastered entry to the tunnel. For what it’s worth.

    S Brookes

    • Hi Sarah-thank you for this information it is really interesting. I am not familiar with the relevant cellars but this confirms the folklore about that particular tunnel under the road.

      Your grandfather was an absolute legend in Tideswell. My family and many others respected him highly for numerous reasons. Not least his pragmatic ability to deal with whatever ailments he was presented with. Another reason that he was so highly respected locally was his unfailing ability to turn out and attend to Ill people in the area whatever the time of day or night and regardless of the prevailing conditions. He didn’t suffer fools but he had a heart of gold.
      A great man and one of Tidzas finest in my view.
      Lovely to read your comments
      Roger Flint

      • Actually Roger I’m Simon Brookes, not Sarah. Lol. Duncan and Pat Fletcher are my uncle and aunt. Norman Gibbs would have been my mothers half brother.


        Simon Brookes

      • Hello ,Simon ,
        I have fond memories of Dr Brookes .He was very friendly with my parents .My father ,Tom Hilton was deputy head of Pursglove Secondary Modern school and we lived in the first floor flat in the building next to Eccles Hall the other side othe little lane .
        Dr Brookes took a bit of a shine to me ,then about 5years old ,and he would invite me to sit on a footstool and chat to him while he had his lunch at the big table . He had a reputation for driving very fast indeed and many times scared my father in the passenger seat . He was indeed well respected for his professionalism ..my brother got polio but Dr Brookes saved him from permanent paralysis.Sometimes people had to wait for hours in his surgery ,the entrance was at the rear of the property opposite the school ,because he was out on a call Memories of dark geen paint on the wall and somewhere a drip ,drip drip of water into a metal water tank ! Eventually he would arrive and never closed the door to anyone . Coincidentally ,I now live in Guernsey and you will know that he looked after the boys from Elizabeth College who were evacuated to the area in 1940 .In recognition of his care and attention ,your father and uncle were offered scholarships to the college on their return to Guernsey .Sorry this has nothing to do with tunnels but thought you might be interested.

  12. There was also a story of a “monks retreat” (among many) that consisted of a constructed ledge up the kitchen fireplace chimney. Not really sure about this story but that’s what I was told as a child. I also was told some scary ghost stories involving the spirit of Lady Blake, which were the reason the tunnel was sealed. Again, for what it’s worth…

    S Brookes

  13. Phil, I do have a clear memory from when I was around 8 or 9 of some potholer friends of Kieth Hudson of Hudson’s Butchers shop (now Markeygate House, located at the top end of Church Street, across from the little garden/seating area) going down through a hole in the floor of one of the back buildings where they had lifted up the big stone flags. They were using a steel rope ladder. I watched w/ Keith’s nephew Edwin as the men dissapeared for a while down beneath the floor, but that’s all I can tell you?

  14. Hi there. My Great grand mother and Grand father lived near the church where the double gates lead up to where the library was. My Grandmother said when she was young she and her freind who lived next door went down her freinds cellar and that there was a secret passage way that lead to the church. They could walk along it. Dont know how far they went..but there you go.
    As for Wheston the Hatfield farmers told my dad that they found a tunnel which I think was found by part of it caving in. Also the road caved in near tyndalls years ago as a wagon went into the road. Could be an old grave too as someone said the graveyard used to go much further. But I think a tunnel for such an a great effect as the road caved in. My name is Dean Carline. My Great grand parents were Grant’s!

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