A grandmother has claimed that she crawled through a tunnel under Peterborough Cathedral as a schoolgirl, describing the experience as “terrifying”.
Judith Rowe (71), of Cheviot Avenue, Peterborough, said that she, along with 25 classmates from Eastholme Girls’ School, crawled through a two-foot high tunnel as a 10-year-old back in the 1950s.
Mrs Rowe said that the experience, which was organised as a school trip, was so scary that it gave her nightmares for weeks afterwards.
She said: “I remember being in the tunnel because it was absolutely terrifying.
“About 25 of us went down into the tunnel, one at a time, none of the teachers came in.
“It was pitch black, had a stone floor and was about two feet high and three feet wide.
“We crawled along on our hands on knees. The girl in front of me stopped and started screaming, she was so scared.
“The tunnel started in the Cathedral and ended there too, we were down there for what seemed like ages. When I eventually got home I was in tears.
“Afterwards I had horrible nightmares for weeks about being buried alive underneath the Cathedral.”
City historian Stuart Orme has verified her claims by stating that there are tunnels under the Cathedral - but these tunnels are not the same type described in local legends.
He said: “There are small tunnels under the Cathedral but these are the ruins of foundations from earlier churches on the site, dating from Saxon times. These tunnels have been opened up to the public in the past.”