Tuesday, January 6, 2009

More on Castle tunnels....

Sorry to keep banging on about these tunnels beneath Tonbridge Castle; if you've had enough then please look away. Personally I find the subject fascinating and there could be a real mystery in this story. At the very least you'd think that the tourist office could make more of it, perhaps even open one of the tunnel entrances up, to attract a few more visitors to the town. The pic above is of the Gatehouse tourist sign which is part of the castle tour; it demonstrates that there still unswered questions even about the entrance into the side of the motte (that's the big hill, on the top of which was housed the keep) Why does no one seem to know the answers? is someone not telling us something? and, if that is the case, why not? There is no doubt that some tunnels existed, one to the Portreeves House (formerly the East Gate of the old fortified town) the Chequers Inn? there have been reports of road workers digging up tunnels as far away as Hadlow Stair; and it has even been suggested to me that there could have been one to Somerhill House. Could there have been one to the old Priory? (which was destroyed and desecrated at the time of the railways being built in the town in the 1840s.) Some say not because of the fact that this would have meant digging a tunnel underneath the river and wet lands. Did they know enough about rock strata in the Middle Ages to have attempted this? A famous old book, Tonbridge Legends, tells the tale of a young man's adventure one night exploring these tunnels. Was it simply the stuff of booze-fuelled imagination? If so how come the legends of the tunnels existed long before this book was written? Questions, questions, but with no answers. Let Tonbridge blog know if you can add anything at all to this....

3 comments:

Tim said...

http://tonbridgecollectables.com/page22.php

check this out

Tim said...

http://tonbridgecollectables.com/page15.php

and this

Graeme said...

I went to Slade school in the late 60s and early 70s.
One day after school two friends reckoned that they new the entrance to a very old tunnel and were going to check it out. For some reason, being met from school by my mother or just fear, I didn't go with them. The next day they claimed to have entered the tunnel and gone a few yards but got spooked and legged it.
As far as I can remember the entrance was behind the old electricity generating staion and council yard in the slade opposite the school.