Recent Tidza Tunnel Developments.
Tideswell Tunnels took a new turn this week. I met a young man convinced of their existence, which spurred me on , as I had been somewhat downhearted about my lack of conclusive evidence. I have got several new lines of enquiry. Thing is, once I get started on something I never let it go.
However, I actually need the people of Tideswell to support me, and actively assist me in my research. It should be noted that I’m now encountering reluctancy to talk about the tunnels. However, it is my belief that they are there, so why the secrecy? Some people know more than they are letting on. Help me peeps. Let’s find these tunnels.
I called at Blake House, I had previously pushed my letter of introduction through the door, the family who now own the house were more than happy to have a chat. The owner, Phil Dobbin, said that he was fascinated by the concept but hadn’t had a chance to investigate further. Outside the house at ground level there is a small lintel. the stone directly underneath it was loose and we managed to pull it away, revealing a small cavity but noting that could be seen in detail. Mr Dobbin, said he wanted to pull up the flaggs in the garden to investigate further , at some point.
Paul Harrison at Devonshire House dropped me a line to say that he had an archway in the bottom corner of his cellar that was worth investigating. Oddly enough we had sat in the Star inn just a couple of weeks before chatting about Tideswell history. Odd then that his house should be a prime suspect for one with a tunnel. I called around and both he and his wife Carrie were helpful and enthusiastic.
They let me down in the cellar and Paul showed me a small archway in the bottom right hand corner. It was quite unusual because there seemed to be no logical reason for an arch there. It certainly wasn’t a coal chute because the coal chute was to the left. (unless the visible coal chute was added later). Devonshire House is very old and I’m told that it was one of the King’s Larders, and the original George Pub at one time. The cellar has a vaulted ceiling and still has some old meat hooks hanging from it. As you can see from the image I took on my phone, there is a clear arch. The rubble in front of the arch apparently does down more than 6 ft. Paul said he tried to unearth it but got fed up.
My initial feelings are that this might have been some kind of soak-away or sough which drained water or “other liquid” down into the brook which would run a few yards in front of the house. However, I have heard from three living people that there is definitely a tunnel at Devonshire House. I just haven’t found it yet, I will though.
I drew a bit of a dissapointing blank at Eccles Hall. After about ten minutes fighting with the latch on the gate I managed to get in and finally catch the attention of the home owner. I explained who I was and that I was searching for the hidden tunnels in Tideswell. The lady who owns the house told me that she “wanted there to be a tunnell but there just isn’t”.
She also informed me that Eccles Hall and Blake House were built at different times so the myth that Samuel Eccles was visiting his lover in Blake House via tunnel was bunkem. However, this is at odds with the testimony of one living women in the Village who told me that she has been into a tunnel located in the cellar at Eccles Hall. Someone is clearly mistaken.
I called to See Claire Fisher, who lives at The Shambles, you may recall part two of Tideswell Tunnels showed the details Philip Swarbrick had given me regarding a tunnel there. Claire was enthusiastic, but sadly an inspection of her cellar area (now converted) into living quarters revealed nothing. Philip’s description matched perfectly though. So I have stood at the exact spot where the Tunnel is meant to be, but it’s been bricked up and plastered over, so if there’s a way into it, it would have to be out in the yard.
Finally, although not directly related to Tunnels, I approached Tindalls and Chris Ashton, was good enough to let me look at the images he and his wife took of the cellar before it was closed off, and the shop refurbished. I did ask to go down in the cellar but that wasn’t possible at the time due to the manhole cover sticking and Mr Ashton not wanting to break his floor tiles by prying it up. Fair enough. He told me that he’s seen no evidence of a tunnel but was kind enough to explain all the changes to the building and let me copy this brilliant photo of a small cellar room, which, I guess was used for salting meat at one time or another.
I do hope that you are enjoying reading my posts about the quest for tunnels. There is , I assure you a lot more information to come. I’m working on it, and will post it all here as and when I get a chance. Let me leave you with a question:
Do you believe there are Tunnels in Tideswell? if so, where and what makes you believe.
Please leave a comment below, if you know anything or just have an opinion.