‘Secret’ medieval tunnel accidentally discovered by electricians in Wales
A team of electrical engineers stumbled upon a “secret” medieval tunnel while a routine excavation was being carried out to lay a span of underground cables.
Western Power Distribution contractors had just begun excavation work in Tintern, Monmouthshire when they made their extraordinary discovery.
The brick tunnel, which is about a meter high, is said to be almost 900 years old.
The ruins of Tintern Abbey, a Gothic monastery founded in 1131, are near the valley where the tunnel was found. However, the passage is not shown on any ordinance survey map and was unknown to local residents and authorities, according to Western Power Distribution.
It could take “years” of archaeological research before more is known about the “secret” tunnel, said WPD technician Allyn Gore.
In the meantime, his team has refilled the trench they started digging and are moving their cables elsewhere.
Mr. Gore, who led the excavation team, said he had never seen anything so “exciting and impressive” in an excavation.
“The tunnel system was hidden under a footpath that ran parallel to Angiddy Brook and appeared to follow the route of the creek along the valley. It may have been unknowingly entered for centuries, ”he said.
His team alerted Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historical and cultural heritage agency, who were “fascinated by the size of the tunnel” and thought it could be “linked to ironwork ruins previously discovered in the area,” he said.
Archaeologists are now working to uncover more details about the tunnel.