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Report (Permission Visit) Pontefract Hermitage - Feb 16

Discussion in 'Underground Sites' started by Hydro, Feb 16, 2016.

  1. Hydro

    Hydro 28DL Regular User
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    Recently myself and @Raz were given the chance to have a look down a 13th century Hermit hole which is now closed to the public. Thanks to the Pontefract Hermitage team for your help and kind permission [​IMG]
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    History;
    Pontefract Hermitage is a medieval hermitage situated below the old Southgate entrance to the now derelict Victorian era General Infirmary in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, England. It is a grade I listed structure.
    The retreat consists of two chambers hand carved out of sandstone, side by side but on different levels. From the lower chamber a 63 step spiral staircase descends to a well. The later upper chamber, known as the Oratory, measures 14 feet (4.25 metres) by 8 feet (2.45 metres) with a domed ceiling up to 8 feet high. The Oratory contains an altar, a fireplace, a bench and low stool and a bed shelf. The entrance to the hermitage was protected by bolted doors.
    [​IMG]
    Pontefract had hermits from the early 13th century, the earliest of whom, Peter of Pomfret, was executed by King John in 1213 for predicting his downfall. This was dramatised in the Shakespeare's play King John. The hermit tradition continued for about three centuries. The hermitage described here dates from 1386 after Robert de Laythorpe granted the then hermit, Brother Adam, the hermitage and accompanying land for life. It was discovered in October 1854 by workmen laying a new sewer.
    Recently construction work by Balfour Beatty have built a new multi million pound hospital on the site of the old one, which has disrupted the flow of a water course causing the hermitage to flood. Something they are currently denying they had anything to do with. Pumps are running 24hrs a day, paid for by the NHS to keep the water levels at a sustainable level to reduce the damage to the sandstone.
    On with some photos;
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    The above hand carved skeleton is believed to be the only carving showing the Death holding a spear (showing the end of nthe plague) at least in Europe, if not the world.
    [​IMG]
    Flooding caused by Balfour Beatty
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    As always, thanks for looking [​IMG]
     

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  2. WildBoyz

    WildBoyz Is this the future?
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    This is really cool, really interesting! Thanks for posting it up.
     
  3. Mr Beady

    Mr Beady Over 8
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    This is very cool. Nice one m8ty
     
  4. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
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    One of the better parts of Ponte" ;)

    Ditto the above comments matey :thumb
     
  5. Mutagen

    Mutagen 28DL Regular User
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    That's something a bit different! Nice one.
     
  6. The Lone Ranger

    The Lone Ranger Safety is paramount!
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    That's an interesting looking hole, nicely captured :thumb
     
  7. Lancashire lad

    Lancashire lad chief taster for costa coffee
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    great post man nice little explore
     
  8. Alley

    Alley Conspicuous Loiterer
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    Awesome. Would love to find something like this :thumb
     
  9. hamtagger

    hamtagger 28DL Regular User
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    Not everyday you get to look up a 13th century hermits' hole :p

    Cool that mate, lying the skull in the first pic
     
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