‘Secret’ medieval tunnel accidentally discovered by electricians in Wales

4ft tunnel unearthed near Tintern Abbey in Monmouthshire

Joanna Taylor
Friday 05 March 2021 16:13
Comments
Leer en Español

A team of electrical technicians stumbled on a “secret” medieval tunnel while undertaking a routine dig to relocate a span of underground cable.

The Western Power Distribution contractors had just begun excavation work in Tintern, Monmouthshire, when they made their extraordinary discovery.

The brick tunnel, which stands at around four feet tall, is thought to date back almost 900 years.

The ruins of Tintern Abbey, a Gothic monastery founded in 1131, are near to the valley where the tunnel was found. But the passageway isn’t shown on any ordinance survey maps and it was unknown to local residents and authorities, Western Power Distribution say.

It could take “years” of archeological investigation before more about the “secret” tunnel is known, WPD technician Allyn Gore said.

In the meantime, his team have backfilled the trench they had begun digging and are putting their cables down elsewhere.

Mr Gore, who headed up the dig team, said he had never seen anything as “exciting and impressive as this” during excavations before.

“The tunnel system was tucked away underneath a footpath, running parallel to the Angiddy Brook, and seemed to follow the brook’s route along the valley; it may have been unknowingly walked on for centuries,” he said.

His team alerted Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic and cultural heritage agency, who were “fascinated by the sheer scale of the tunnel” and thought it could be “linked to iron work ruins previously discovered in the area”, he said.

Archeologists are now working to establish more details about the tunnel.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in