An Illustrated Talk on the Secret Tunnels Of England
Antony Clayton will sort the fact from the fiction at Putney Library
Antony Clayton is holding a talk on the Secret Tunnels of England at Putney Library on 10 December from 7-8pm.
Our imagination is invariably excited by tales of ‘secret tunnels’: a flight of steps leads down to a mysterious locked door; an ancient cellar has an archway that appears to have been recently filled in; construction work near an old building uncovers a previously unknown brick-lined passageway that seems to be connected with it. A frequent means of access, refuge and escape, they appear in countless mystery and suspense novels and films and are often first encountered in children’s adventure stories. Secret passages or hidden tunnels are a widespread feature of popular belief and local stories about them are almost as ubiquitous as those related to ghosts.
There are interesting stories attached to many of the hundreds of rumoured secret tunnels in England and this study has endeavoured to collect most of them in one place: here you will find, together with the amorous monarchs, concupiscent monks, vanishing fiddlers, thwarted treasure seekers, cunning smugglers, elusive Catholic priests and escaping Royalists of tradition, historical figures from Eleanor of Aquitaine to Henry VIII, Charles II and Winston Churchill and folklore monsters such as the Dragon of Ludham, Spring-heeled Jack and Sir John ‘Bloody’ Baker.