Video: Did a secret tunnel run beneath Peterborough’s streets?

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Truths behind a mythical 700-year-old tunnel used by medieval monks to journey over a mile under Peterborough may soon be revealed by a local archaeology graduate.

History buff Jay Beecher (25) of St Mark’s Street, Peterborough, has been intrigued by the legend of the tunnel ever since he was a young boy when he was regaled with tales that had been passed down the generations of a mysterious passageway under the city.

Jay Beecher, who is investigating old legends that a tunnel runs from Peterborough Cathedral to Holywell ponds in modern-day Longthorpe. Photo: Alan Storer

Jay Beecher, who is investigating old legends that a tunnel runs from Peterborough Cathedral to Holywell ponds in modern-day Longthorpe. Photo: Alan Storer

The tunnel is said to date from the 1300s and ran from the city’s Cathedral to a grotto in Holywell, Longthorpe.

Medieval monks may have used the tunnel as a safe route to visit a sacred spring at Holywell to bathe in its healing waters.

It could also have been used as a supply route for water and fish from the spring.

Archaeology graduate Mr Beecher will start examining land under which the tunnel is thought to run and hopes to prove its existence.

Plans of a tunnel excavated below Peterborough Cathedral. Photo: Alan Storer

Plans of a tunnel excavated below Peterborough Cathedral. Photo: Alan Storer

Mr Beecher, a business manager with Credit Financial, of Peterborough, said: “I’ve spent the past year scouring ancient maps and records to get to the bottom of the city’s oldest legend.

“From my evidence I believe that the tunnel is more than plausible but archaeology is the only way to prove it.

“I’ve made some interesting discoveries, including a 17th century map showing a section of a possible tunnel.”

“There is also a Georgian house, in Thorpe Road, halfway between the Cathedral and the grotto, whose owners believe a forgotten tunnel lies buried underneath. A 25 foot tunnel was found by workmen in Cathedral Sqaure in 1964. To prove a tunnel across the city existed would be remarkable and give us an insight into the city’s medieval history.”

Hollow well in Longthorpe also known as Hallyeywell  and Holewell grotto sring area and lakes. Photo: Alan Storer

Hollow well in Longthorpe also known as Hallyeywell and Holewell grotto sring area and lakes. Photo: Alan Storer

Hollow well in Longthorpe also known as Hallyeywell  and Holewell grotto sring area and lakes. Photo: Alan Storer

Hollow well in Longthorpe also known as Hallyeywell and Holewell grotto sring area and lakes. Photo: Alan Storer

Hollow well in Longthorpe also known as Hallyeywell  and Holewell grotto sring area and lakes. Photo: Alan Storer

Hollow well in Longthorpe also known as Hallyeywell and Holewell grotto sring area and lakes. Photo: Alan Storer

Hollow well in Longthorpe also known as Hallyeywell  and Holewell grotto sring area and lakes. Photo: Alan Storer

Hollow well in Longthorpe also known as Hallyeywell and Holewell grotto sring area and lakes. Photo: Alan Storer

 

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