Featherstone Make a Difference Forum

Featherstone History => Town History => Topic started by: yetion1 on May 20, 2010, 09:03:35 pm



Title: The Tunnel/s from Nostel Priory to Featherstone myth
Post by: yetion1 on May 20, 2010, 09:03:35 pm
There have been many reported sightings of tunnels around the area of the line you see drawn on the map. Most have simply had no evidence for a number of reasons and exist as Featherstone myth.
Along Pontefract road there are a number of World War 2 shelters using natural rock. One of these is one of the few clues to any tunnels in the area. This one particular shelter is more a break in to an existing tunnel stone carved and not lined. Either end is bricked up as it is obvious from the building line that a tunnel has been cut through. On its own there is no guide to direction.
Over the last 2 years thanks to the Girnhill estate a number of curiosities have come to light in the way the original estate was laid out and built. Subsequent subsidence still continues that cannot be the entire coal boards fault.
A further recent clue suggests the line you see. On 2 confirmed points on the line there is a tunnel. On 2 confirmed points on the line there is also no house as if someone found a problem and built around something.
The line you see could be nothing. It is purely based on a dot to dot. It is interesting that there is known history at either end of the line?

(http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg99/yetion1/Picturesfairys-4.jpg)


Title: Re: The Tunnel/s from Nostel Priory to Featherstone myth
Post by: laughing buffallo man on December 10, 2011, 04:47:27 pm
Tunnels must have existed connecting Newlands Wakefield Heath and Ponty. I want down as many as I can. Can anyone help? Yeti?


Title: Re: The Tunnel/s from Nostel Priory to Featherstone myth
Post by: yetion1 on December 11, 2011, 03:14:22 pm
Hello L.B. Man.
Sounds interesting. Do you mean Newlands Heath at Normanton and also Pontefract. Seen plenty of Ponte tunnels but not Normy. Please tell us more. ;D


Title: Re: The Tunnel/s from Nostel Priory to Featherstone myth
Post by: laughing buffallo man on December 13, 2011, 03:44:07 pm
OH! Yetion its interesting allright. Ive irritated a couple of local historians about this.

There seems to be an urgency about "capping" tunnels soon after they have been exposed. Talking to local people from Normanton who used to play in Newland (not Heath), they confirm they had played in a tunnel which stretched to Wakefield.

Preventing access to these dates back to the reign of Elizabeth 1, and deeds maintained in Leeds register of deeds office confirm the Crown would only give back to the people of Niormanton what was above the ground.

In 1995 or 1996 after the vatican proclaimed there should never have been accusation of herecy against the Templars, the tunnels in Wakefield were blocked (and apparently dynamite was used!)

In 1996 also, there were deeds sold by secret auction at Sothebys in London, and on condition that the articles be taken directly from this country. I have every reason to believe these deeds were taken from the Newland estate :o  Now, it gets interesting here because my intuition led me to believe there should have been a tunnel into Wakefield from Newland, but received wisdom is that the technology to build such a tunnel didnt exist in the 14th C.

Such a tunnel would have to go under the river Calder!

If I was right I knew it would most probably surface near the Cathedral and it would be special in its design; The men who would have built such a structure were skilled artisans disciplined in their work. Any such tunnel would have superb integrity.

I have discovered such a tunnel was exposed adjacent to the old Vicarage car park in 2004, it led to the Free Mason Hall across the road, but more interestingly it also headed off toward the Cathedral under the burial ground. I have spoken to two people who were down there before it was "Capped", and they confirm there was intricate masonry, beautiful woodwork and a large room down there.  ;D I then discovered the original Wakefield church and vicarage were funded by tithes collected by the Templars.

Formal communication exists between the Bishop of Wakefield asking the Templars not to ferry peeps from Normanton and Castleford over the river because they were causing problems. My belief is they found a way round this. I believe this because they would have used tunnels to transport money safely, and also there was significant trade which they would have wanted (needed) to secure.

 ;D ???

Now. This is information that should be placed in the public domain, and if you could possibly describe some of the tunnels around Ponty you are familiar with it would possibly help me with detail I have struggled with.


Title: Re: The Tunnel/s from Nostel Priory to Featherstone myth
Post by: lillyandmargret on December 13, 2011, 06:51:05 pm
Have you spoken to Andrew Hughes who owns newlands? You never know, he may have some information of the tunnels


Title: Re: The Tunnel/s from Nostel Priory to Featherstone myth
Post by: primax on December 14, 2011, 03:32:41 pm
Can I ask a few questions about these tunnels? Firstly, there seems to be a lot of coal seams near the surface around this area, if they came across such a seam while constructing a tunnel, how would they deal with the methane and the water problems associated with modern mining, don't they have to pump mines out and provide fresh breathing air for people to be able to work in them?
Secondly, the Newlands area in a direct line to Wakefield would go under Warmfield, Kirkthorpe and heath. This area is very hilly, for example near the Plough pub in Warmfield the land is 220 feet above sea level while the calder at the bottom of the hill is 90 feet above sea level, Heath common is about 150 feet above see level. The distance from Newlands to Wakefield in a straight line is just over 2 miles. My question is how would the engineers of such a tunnel ensure they didn't pop out on the side of an hill without having any equipment which told them how deep they were? If we dug a tunnel today the spoil of a 6 feet high by 3 feet wide tunnel would be approximately 6000 metric tonnes of soil and rock. Assuming they brought the spoil out of one end of the tunnel where is this spoil heap located?


Title: Re: The Tunnel/s from Nostel Priory to Featherstone myth
Post by: Forkhandles on December 14, 2011, 06:31:52 pm
I think most of these mysterious tunnels are a romantic myth ;D


Title: Re: The Tunnel/s from Nostel Priory to Featherstone myth
Post by: Kim685 on December 15, 2011, 12:26:25 am
I think most of these mysterious tunnels are a romantic myth ;D

Reading through Primax's post, I think you could be right. A lot of what he said makes sense  :)


Title: Re: The Tunnel/s from Nostel Priory to Featherstone myth
Post by: Forkhandles on December 15, 2011, 01:07:46 pm
Theres evidence of an ancient track from nostel priory to all saints church in north feath.


Title: Re: The Tunnel/s from Nostel Priory to Featherstone myth
Post by: laughing buffallo man on December 22, 2011, 10:56:29 am
Hello

Indeed, I have not spoken to Andrew about this. I wanted to locate the entrance(s) first. I have read his partners` web site on the estate. It is obvious she has an interest.

Andrew is farming the land which is great to see. Im sure the prospect of having excavations on a working estate would not be a great carrot to wave.

And the thought of causing financial damage or just inconvenience to someone without some sort of concrete plan is not something Iwould entertain. Having said that, I believe one entrance lies within a clearly defined area of about 7 square meters.   


Title: Re: The Tunnel/s from Nostel Priory to Featherstone myth
Post by: laughing buffallo man on December 22, 2011, 11:21:40 am
Hi Primax
Yeah, there was technology involved in the construction of mines and tunnels.

Ironically, the ability of people to mine huge quantities of lead during the medievil period proves the skills/ knowledge to complete the task existed.
The most famous mines of this period are in France. Given the sduccessful revolution which occurred in France in the following centuries, it is probable that the mines there were exposed to public more easily than this country.

The technology is not my concern, but from what I have read, it seems that methane can be dealt with by the use of acid solutions. Also, it is when a tunnel has been out of use for awhile that the greatest dangers will arise. But; unlike mines, these tunnels would have, by necessity been in regular use, and by a select number of people. The spoil created by any of these tunnels wopuld have been taken away by water. As inthose tunnels exposed in the 1990`s under the Holy land, water flowed freely in the tunnelbelow the level of stepping stones.

Of course health and safety was not quite such an issue then, and there was greater access to prisoners et al.

The line from  Newlands to Wakefield of @ 2 miles is interesting in itself. The bridge church and original Heath House arent far from this line.

This point is where the use of geometry, sacred geometry, numbers 5 & 1, and patterns of settlements replicated across the world give some clues.

The geography - social and physical has changed over the last 1,000 years.

It will be obvious to you frommy post that I dont have all the answers, but its asking the right questions Im finding interesting.     


Title: Re: The Tunnel/s from Nostel Priory to Featherstone myth
Post by: primax on December 22, 2011, 06:07:00 pm
Hi Buffalo, the mines which you speak of in France are cut from soft chalky limestone and so were the tunnels underneath Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The Temple Mount tunnels are a network of tunnels or a labyrynth of tunnels running in many directions used for many purposes throughout the centuries and are the subject of many myths and legends involving the Knights Templar and the search for the Holy Grail. This is also linked to the mystery of Rennes le chateau in the foothills of the Pyranees, the Cathar legends and the grail legends of that part of the world.
I should imagine building or trying to build similar tunnels in this area would meet with extreme difficulties due to the fact that the subsoil and rock around these parts consists largely of shales, coal, soft sandstones aswell as a variety of other unstable geological materials. If you are going to construct tunnels then you would need a stable rock platform from which to operate otherwise you would be faced with collapses and the need for huge ammounts of timber to support the roof just like they use in drift mines such as the Prince of Wales mine in Pontefract. If they did indeed use timbers in medieval times wouldn't those timbers be rotten by now and the tunnels have collapsed long since?
I still find in difficult to believe that people would have spent years constructing these tunnels with the difficulties concerned for the sole purpose of secretly getting from one place to another and like Forkhandles has said I strongly believe that many of these stories are just myths, legends and fantasies. I wish you good luck in your quest Buffalo to find the 'lost tunnels of the Newlands Templars'.

             


Title: Re: The Tunnel/s from Nostel Priory to Featherstone myth
Post by: yetion1 on December 29, 2011, 06:09:24 pm
It is always interesting to read the pros and cons surrounding this subject.
From my un-educated view based on what little I have seen one tunnel was cut in to solid rock yet appeared to go up and down in depth according to how this stone layer had been formed. Also every 12 ish metres the tunnel turned left and then back to the right in a zigzag. The rock tunnel was circular perhaps to act as its own brace?
There is no doubt there was technology that is lost today.


Title: Re: The Tunnel/s from Nostel Priory to Featherstone myth
Post by: primax on January 01, 2012, 11:53:28 am
It is always interesting to read the pros and cons surrounding this subject.
From my un-educated view based on what little I have seen one tunnel was cut in to solid rock yet appeared to go up and down in depth according to how this stone layer had been formed. Also every 12 ish metres the tunnel turned left and then back to the right in a zigzag. The rock tunnel was circular perhaps to act as its own brace?
There is no doubt there was technology that is lost today.

There's no doubt Yetion that people had the ability to cut through rock in those days. Mill hill at Pontefract is a prime example of how this was done with its massive network of caves and tunnels cut into the solid sandstone, they stretch for hundreds of metre's and many have been closed down due to the instability of the ground and problems with flooding. There is much debate on what these caves were used for and there are some interesting bits and bobs on the web about them. The castle at Ponty also had a few caves and tunnels although not as long as what people think they are. Again also cut into solid sandstone but these caves served a purpose being used as cold stores, prisons and magazines over the years. The Victorians used them to store liquorish in when it was grown in the castle grounds and they also used the caves up Mill hill to do the same when liquorish was grown in the Valley gardens. My doubts about tunnels come into play when people are claiming that tunnels go for miles. Tunnels that cover vast distances are bound to come across many geological problems such as poor materials.
For example, lets just suggest we wanted to tunnel from Mill hill to Station lane, Featherstone. Only a couple of miles, when you start tunneling in the solid sandstone at Mill hill that will be OK. You then come down Marlpit hill past the Crematorium and the natural sandstone stops and is replaced by shale and coal deposits underneath Monkroyd farm. These deposits were exploited during medieval times by the use of bell pits which are dotted in several locations around Monkroyd farm. The coal seems are very close to the surface and appear at the actual surface in the field next to the Jubilee steps in Purston. Coal and shale appear scattered on the surface and the profile of this coal can be seen in the deep ditches around there. Tunneling through this material would cause extreme difficulties because of the methane and the low land which would cause flooding. You would need the same kind of technology as the mining industry.
So to sum up my argument i would say: tunneling around these parts is possible and has indeed been achieved but only when the conditions are suitable such as solid sandstone or solid limestone. I think that's a fair anology.


Title: Re: The Tunnel/s from Nostel Priory to Featherstone myth
Post by: primax on January 01, 2012, 12:32:20 pm
http://www.pontefractus.co.uk/history/millhill_sandtunnels01.htm


Title: Re: The Tunnel/s from Nostel Priory to Featherstone myth
Post by: Forkhandles on January 01, 2012, 06:38:51 pm
I've heard people call them (secret)tunnels,how can you keep a three mile long tunnel secret,what did they do with all the spoil ???


Title: Re: The Tunnel/s from Nostel Priory to Featherstone myth
Post by: Kim685 on January 02, 2012, 10:58:17 am
I've heard people call them (secret)tunnels,how can you keep a three mile long tunnel secret,what did they do with all the spoil ???

Good point!

Finding this thread very interesting  :)


Title: Re: The Tunnel/s from Nostel Priory to Featherstone myth
Post by: Whistleblower on January 02, 2012, 02:11:14 pm
I've heard people call them (secret)tunnels,how can you keep a three mile long tunnel secret,what did they do with all the spoil ???
Havenít you seen the great escape film ?  ;D


Title: Re: The Tunnel/s from Nostel Priory to Featherstone myth
Post by: Forkhandles on January 02, 2012, 06:51:26 pm
I've heard people call them (secret)tunnels,how can you keep a three mile long tunnel secret,what did they do with all the spoil ???
Havenít you seen the great escape film ?  ;D

I can just imagine them with big lumps of sandstone up their trouser-legs  ;D ;D


Title: Re: The Tunnel/s from Nostel Priory to Featherstone myth
Post by: yetion1 on January 02, 2012, 08:51:50 pm
That is an interesting link. Not seen it before.
Love the great escape part especially after watching the true story on the history channel last night.
There will always be many ideas until further research is undertaken. If the people involved in the past were good enough to create such tunnels surely the remove of the rubble would be nothing to find a solution to. Perhaps they filled up the many bell pits that scattered the landscape.


Title: Re: The Tunnel/s from Nostel Priory to Featherstone myth
Post by: Forkhandles on January 02, 2012, 09:37:04 pm
Not forgetting most of the area was forrested....there'd be tree roots to contend with. ;D


Title: Re: The Tunnel/s from Nostel Priory to Featherstone myth
Post by: laughing buffallo man on January 05, 2012, 12:53:43 pm
 :-\ :-[ ;D

Sure its all good.

Right, ok. They dont exist. The tattooist who fell into the lead clad tunnel in Wakefield was dreaming. So was the guy I spoke to who helped excavate the tunnel leading toward the cathedral.
There was also a strange out of body experience by a teacher who was in the middle of derlivering a talk in Wakefield when his lesson was interrupted by men in uniform who insisted they leave the building while they capped the entrance to a tunnel.

Now, tell me also about the origin of stone coffins recently excavated from beneath the Wakefield Cathedral. I havent seen these but record of them exists. The stone coffin (without lid or original contents) in the grounds of Normanton church is attributed to Templars. One thing I can say with a fair degree of certainty is that history is normally recorded by the victors.


Title: Re: The Tunnel/s from Nostel Priory to Featherstone myth
Post by: primax on January 05, 2012, 03:14:12 pm
:-\ :-[ ;D

Sure its all good.

Right, ok. They dont exist. The tattooist who fell into the lead clad tunnel in Wakefield was dreaming. So was the guy I spoke to who helped excavate the tunnel leading toward the cathedral.
There was also a strange out of body experience by a teacher who was in the middle of derlivering a talk in Wakefield when his lesson was interrupted by men in uniform who insisted they leave the building while they capped the entrance to a tunnel.

Now, tell me also about the origin of stone coffins recently excavated from beneath the Wakefield Cathedral. I havent seen these but record of them exists. The stone coffin (without lid or original contents) in the grounds of Normanton church is attributed to Templars. One thing I can say with a fair degree of certainty is that history is normally recorded by the victors.
No one's saying that tunnels don't exist - they do and if you read whats been posted there is evidence of such tunnels. The length of the tunnels you are talking about from Newlands to Wakefield is what is in question. I'd wager a bet that if you can show me a tunnel from Newlands to Wakefield and walk through it i'll show my **** in what used to be Woolworths window.


Title: Re: The Tunnel/s from Nostel Priory to Featherstone myth
Post by: Forkhandles on January 05, 2012, 08:13:32 pm
I was just going to say something similar Primax,has anyone ever walked any of these tunnels from entry to exit ;D


Title: Re: The Tunnel/s from Nostel Priory to Featherstone myth
Post by: yetion1 on November 15, 2012, 08:32:14 pm
Old Stonian you may be able to shed some light. Been talking to a resident near you about the air raid shelter tunnel. By the sounds of it there is much more than I knew and probably many others. Has there been any mention of such a thing near you?


Title: Re: The Tunnel/s from Nostel Priory to Featherstone myth
Post by: Old Stonian on November 17, 2012, 02:36:29 pm
I know nothing about an air raid tunnel. Anderson shelters were delivered to those with a back garden (our's was in Moor Road) and the council built shelters in the streets where the backs were brick blocked  (Mount Pleasant Street is one example). The Anderson shelters could be bought for a small sum after the war, and the street shelters were nearly all demolished. The one opposite the fish shop on Pontefract raod survived and was converted to a hair dressing salon and then private housing. I think the subject heading says it all. ie it is a myth.
The sand tunnels in Pontefract were used as air raid shelters. I have never seen or heard of anything similar in Purston or south Featherstone.


Title: Re: The Tunnel/s from Nostel Priory to Featherstone myth
Post by: yetion1 on August 16, 2015, 04:13:24 pm
Sadly a supposed to be kept secret has come to light this week.
Prior to building works on the Girnhill Estate you will have noticed many holes drilled and pipes left sticking out. This was to inject grout/ concrete in to various underground imperfections. However it appears during the surveys that a number of huge underground cavities had shown up on scans. This is a report about 3 particular holes that has come to light.
Hole 1 & 2. A large boring machine was brought in to drill 2 locations opposite Ronnieís old house. The first hole found a stone cap over the top of a large bell pit. This was drilled open and filled. The second hole was the same but when the drill broke through the stone cap the top collapsed and almost took the whole machine with it. The hole was recorded at measuring 16 metres deep to the surface from the rubble filled bottom. A big hole by any standard! Amazingly it had a house sat on it for years.
Hole 3 is most interesting. Hole 3 was a break in to a tunnel. The tunnel ran under Ronnieís garden and on towards Nostel Priory. Is this another dot on the tunnel map?
Such a shame none of this is being preserved for a number of reasons. Surely it is of historical interest and holds possible tourism chances for Featherstone. The only plus is that grouting was supposed to be every 3 metres but was apparently done every 6 metres. Perhaps the tunnels will be exposed when the houses sink?

(http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg99/yetion1/Nostel%20tunnel.jpg) (http://s246.photobucket.com/user/yetion1/media/Nostel%20tunnel.jpg.html)


Title: Re: The Tunnel/s from Nostel Priory to Featherstone myth
Post by: yetion1 on April 07, 2019, 01:26:12 pm
Bumped in to an old Featherstone guy at the end of Post Office road looking at the signs on the fence. Got in to conversation about the air raid shelter. Then he came out with a corker I had not heard before.  He asked did I know about the Liptons tunnel? Obviously not. Apparently when this guy was about 8 the Liptons supermarket that is now One Stop was boarded up after closing. He and other kids used to play in the empty building. One day they ventured in to the cellar and found a door leading to a passage. The passage was a tunnel and the kids did not dare go too far. The kids left and returned with candles and one posh kid got a torch. They set off down the tunnel scared to death and eventually came to the end and another opening. The kids found themselves in the cellar of the house that was recently knocked down next to the Cora Pub. The tunnel became a dare thing with the kids who would hide in the tunnel to frighten people trying the dare. I long tunnel by any standards.
One thought is the well that was found a few years ago that is in line with this.