Could this unlock medieval mystery in Spalding?

  • Does the town have a historic secret lying below one of its busiest roads?
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Does Spalding have a medieval secret lying below one of its busiest roads?

Engineers repairing a collapsed sewer in Winsover Road are open-minded about the thought that a water culvert running from Spalding to Pode Hole could hold clues to a long-running mystery.

Gary Foxon of Anglian Water takes a break from working on a collapsed sewer beneath Winsover Road, Spalding, where folklore has it that tunnels were used by monks from the town's old 11th century priory.  Photo by Tim Wilson.  SG090217-106TW.

Gary Foxon of Anglian Water takes a break from working on a collapsed sewer beneath Winsover Road, Spalding, where folklore has it that tunnels were used by monks from the town's old 11th century priory. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG090217-106TW.

Legend has it that monks at an 11th century priory in Spalding would secretly move around the town through underground tunnels linking Monks House and the Prior’s Oven pub in Sheep Market.

Anglian Water has been working at the Winsover Road site since the sewer collapsed two months ago and site manager Dave Holmes said: “An old manhole lid had dropped down so a team came and put a new one on.

“But the new lid started going down even more, so we thought ‘there’s a little bit of a problem here’. Could it have been one of the Prior’s Oven tunnels? I don’t know but it’s certainly big enough.

“It could be anything but you’d have to take a brick away and find out how old it is first.”

Could it have been one of the Prior’s Oven tunnels? I don’t know but it’s certainly big enough.

Dave Holmes, site manager, Anglian Water in Spalding

However, Spalding historian Michael Elsden, author of the Aspects of Spalding series, said: “I wouldn’t take any notice of rumours about tunnels as I don’t think it would have been possible to have built them in this area.

“The tunnels are an imaginary thing and there’s probably nothing in these rumours at all because there’s nothing to substantiate them.”