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Question - - 16th century Tunnels underneath Winchester-Hampshire? | Underground Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Question - 16th century Tunnels underneath Winchester-Hampshire?



Gooz

28DL Member
28DL Member
#1
There are some rooms underneath the place I work on the high street in Winchester, we use them for storage but they are clearly very old. They all have very low ceilings and twisting, narrow passages between them. I know they spread under the highstreet as when you're down there you can hear foot steps above you. The last room you get to is quite large and tall enough for me to stand up in (unlike the others) which has multiple tunnels running off of it which are all bricked over. The rumours from co-workers are that they were used by monks during the Dissolution of the Monasteries to hide from the Kings men and that these tunnels leads all the way around the city, connecting the cathedral to the Great Hall/Round Table and to many old houses around Winchester. There is an entrance to some tunnels at the Great Hall but they are also blocked off with a locked metal gate and there is no comment of where they lead to.

Has anyone heard similar rumours or know of any entrances to the tunnels?
 

johnny gomez

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#2
yes heard there are many tunnels under winchester, under the library anf guildhall too.... been trying to find more info out
 

babes2010

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#3
The labyrinth to the best of my knowledge is not accessible, and has not been for many years. There were a number of entry points, allegedly one was in the basement of a certain building near the buttercross ;-)
 

Century21

28DL Member
28DL Member
#4
Someone told me about these tunnels about 20 years ago. I've searched online for info ever since and this is the first mention I've ever seen of them!

I'd heard they were for goods to be safely brought in and out (or maybe just across) of the city.

In terms of entrances, or traces of them. The great hall is certainly one.

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Locat..._Great_Hall-Winchester_Hampshire_England.html

There's what looks to be a very large tunnel entrance in a garden next door to the Mucky Duck pub. On the corner of Hyde Street and North Walls.

Also, could this be a trace of the tunnels under what was Cafe Monde?

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Locat...7-Cafemonde-Winchester_Hampshire_England.html

I would like to help if there is ever an attempt to find out more about the tunnels or to map them or even venture inside.
 

Century21

28DL Member
28DL Member
#9
> http://trevbish.co.uk/st-giles-hill-chesil-tunnel-winchester-hampshire/

Thanks but I'm pretty sure this is not the tunnel network in question -- same city but at a different end and built centuries later for a different purpose (railway).

> http://www.cityofwinchester.co.uk/history/html/library.html

This is very interesting, thanks, but again the tunnels mentioned were built in WW2, so centuries after the network of tunnels we're investigating.

> http://www.winchesterstar.com/news/...cle_54e55f5f-0421-5fdd-8c72-6c4819ab57c1.html

Thanks but this is a different Winchester. We're talking about Winchester in Hampshire, England and this article is about Winchester in Virginia USA :)
 

babes2010

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#10
Someone told me about these tunnels about 20 years ago. I've searched online for info ever since and this is the first mention I've ever seen of them!

I'd heard they were for goods to be safely brought in and out (or maybe just across) of the city.

In terms of entrances, or traces of them. The great hall is certainly one.

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Locat..._Great_Hall-Winchester_Hampshire_England.html

There's what looks to be a very large tunnel entrance in a garden next door to the Mucky Duck pub. On the corner of Hyde Street and North Walls.

Also, could this be a trace of the tunnels under what was Cafe Monde?

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Locat...7-Cafemonde-Winchester_Hampshire_England.html

I would like to help if there is ever an attempt to find out more about the tunnels or to map them or even venture inside.
There are a number of different tunnel systems underneath the city of Winchester which served different purposes. The entrance you refer to at the top of North Walls is probably one of the entrances to the tunnel system that ran underneath Marstons brewery and was used as air raid shelters during WW2
 

babes2010

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#11
> http://trevbish.co.uk/st-giles-hill-chesil-tunnel-winchester-hampshire/

Thanks but I'm pretty sure this is not the tunnel network in question -- same city but at a different end and built centuries later for a different purpose (railway).

> http://www.cityofwinchester.co.uk/history/html/library.html

This is very interesting, thanks, but again the tunnels mentioned were built in WW2, so centuries after the network of tunnels we're investigating.

> http://www.winchesterstar.com/news/...cle_54e55f5f-0421-5fdd-8c72-6c4819ab57c1.html

Thanks but this is a different Winchester. We're talking about Winchester in Hampshire, England and this article is about Winchester in Virginia USA :)
Yes, the tunnel at the bottom of town in Chesil Street is a railway tunnel, it was part of the GWR and the line closed in 1966. I think it is still being used by W.C.C. for storage, it has also been used in the past to store cars. A lot of the visible history has disappeared due to general building and construction work over the decades but at least the Hockley Viaduct still stands.

As for the library ( previously a corn exchange ) yes, the tunnels under there and the car park were used as air raid shelters. There has been many alterations there over the years which has hidden and disguised the old entrances but if you go into the car park you can easily see two large metal lid type doors which allows very limited access today.
 

Darkplaces

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#12
Yes, the tunnel at the bottom of town in Chesil Street is a railway tunnel, it was part of the GWR and the line closed in 1966. I think it is still being used by W.C.C. for storage, it has also been used in the past to store cars. A lot of the visible history has disappeared due to general building and construction work over the decades but at least the Hockley Viaduct still stands.

As for the library ( previously a corn exchange ) yes, the tunnels under there and the car park were used as air raid shelters. There has been many alterations there over the years which has hidden and disguised the old entrances but if you go into the car park you can easily see two large metal lid type doors which allows very limited access today.
There isnt much under the library, Ive been in the air raid shelter there and it was a little disappointing to be honest, it is now the soakaway for the flats next door. The railway tunnel is more interesting but full of wheelie bins.
 

babes2010

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#13
There isnt much under the library, Ive been in the air raid shelter there and it was a little disappointing to be honest, it is now the soakaway for the flats next door. The railway tunnel is more interesting but full of wheelie bins.
Yes, like I stated "very limited access today" although I "think" you will find that the tunnel system does still exist but is not accessible. I did not know the underground cavities are now a soakaway ! - probably why there is no longer any access :-(
As for the Chesil Street railway tunnel, still being used by W.C.C. for storage then :-)
The other tunnel system underneath the city of Winchester unrelated to the air raid shelters ( plural ) and the railway tunnel I find very interesting, more mysterious and less known about. Not sure exactly how many entrances there were, or still are today but as I stated before, the labyrinth to the best of my knowledge is not accessible, and has not been for many years. There used to be a number of entry points via cellars and basements, allegedly one was in the basement of a certain building near the buttercross. There used to be a relatively well known ( by locals ) accessible entry point away from the city centre in a more quiet area towards the outskirts of Winchester, but this was decades ago. I suppose it may just possibly still prove to be a way in, but finding the exact location could now be a challenge.