Legends about tunnels leading to and fro churches and abbeys are rife throughout the British Isles. However, there are very few such tunnels actually proven to exist. Most of them are, in fact, remains of cellars and store rooms.

However, a recent discovery at Tintern Abbey in Wales had indeed discovered what definitely is a tunnel, running along a foot path to the abbey. While it is not yet firmly dated, it does appear to connect to the religious buildings. For years, it would seem, people were walking on top of an older subterranean route, blithely unaware of what was underfoot.

Tintern Abbey is a very interesting ruin to visit, built by Walter de Clare, Lord of Chepstow, in 1131. It was the first Cistercian house in Wales.

William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke, and his wife Anne were buried at Tintern before the high altar. His son William Herbert, earl of Huntingdon and his first wife Mary Woodville (sister of Elizabeth Woodville) are ALSO buried here. William the younger was also the husband of Katherine Plantagenet, the illegitimate daughter of Richard III, whom he married in 1484. Katherine, however, appears to have been buried in St James Garlickhythe in London rather than with her husband.


Tintern Abbey, public domain photo

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