Kirkstall Abbey tunnel.

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lionarmour
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Postby lionarmour » Thu 22 Feb, 2007 9:28 pm

how many versions of the old kirkstall abbey tunnell legend can anybody come up with?
like tunnel going all the way up to bramley or the one to amen corner.
i wonder if these stories have any truth .
leeds man born and bred i love this city
OldBoy
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Postby OldBoy » Fri 23 Feb, 2007 7:56 am

There are two I've heard. One from the basement of a pub in Armley which surfaces at the Abbey and also one from Hawksworth Wood. Neither have I actually found...
www.jameslesterphotography.co.uk - Photography of hidden cities.
johng
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Postby johng » Fri 02 Mar, 2007 8:16 pm

There is also a tale of a tunnel from The Grange at Beckett Park, to Kirkstall Abbey.
mourning_belle
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Postby mourning_belle » Sun 04 Mar, 2007 10:46 pm

If you wikipedia kirkstall abby and look at the plan at the bottom, you can see the tunnel clearly. I have plans to go down it soon, when i do i'll post photos.
www.wyrduk.blogspot.co.uk/

rikj
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Postby rikj » Mon 05 Mar, 2007 3:38 pm

Kirkstall Abbey certainly has a lot of tunnel stories. Someone got in touch (thanks johnyleeds) to say there was a curious entrance in some woods not too far from the abbey. Looking rather out of place in caving gear walking down the road we eventually found the entrance after much searching.

My friend squeezed into the hole with strict instructions to call mines rescue if he wasn't out in 10 minutes. He quickly followed that by saying "make that FIVE minutes."

The tunnel went along for only 12-15 ft then did a right angle turn before shortly coming to a dead end. He made a hasty exit with much retching saying the air quality was very poor.

So what was it? Our best guess is possibly an explosives store from when the land was quarried, but the jury is still out.

I can't see why the abbey would have needed tunnels. It had a very peaceful life, the prosperous monks trading in wool and generally keeping their noses clean for hundreds of years. Even the dissolution of the monastry was a mild affair, many monks being given jobs in Leeds according to their skills. Even 14 years after the end of the abbey some monks were still getting a pension. Today some land around there is still pretty impenetrable. In the days before street lights, in the middle of thick forest, I would have thought sneaking in and out would have been pretty easy if you wanted.

I'm sure there must be rooms under the abbey. In Joseph Ballard's "England in 1815" he speaks of visiting the "cemetery under the abbey" full of stone caskets containing the ashes of monks. He also talks of dungeons under the abbey.

I think some tales of tunnels refer to old drains and culverts, which is not to do them down by any means. I was told of a tunnel from Amen Corner to the abbey and given the exact location by someone who said they had been the whole way through. On looking there was an entrance to a water outfall, possibly big enough to crawl through, and possibly going near the abbey, but I wasn't going to find out!

I'd love to be proved wrong if anyone does know of the tunnels though !!
rikj
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Postby rikj » Sun 18 Mar, 2007 8:34 pm

Finally trying to upload a pic, hope it works.....


Attachments
AbbeyTunnel1 (Small).JPG
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David Raven
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JoinedCOLON Tue 05 Feb, 2008 4:28 pm

Postby David Raven » Thu 07 Feb, 2008 8:00 pm

I used to do voluntary work for the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers at Hollybush Farm in Kirkstall. When I was there, there was another volunteer, a retired gentleman who collected all manner of folklore and legends.

He showed us a blocked up tunnel entrance in the cellars there, and told us of the rumour that it was an old tunnel that led to Kirkstall Abbey.

Hollybush Farm was an old rhubarb farm, by the bridge over the canal. I'm sure the present building isn't as old as the Abbey, but thought I'd pass on the story... Laugh


Cheers
Dave
wiggy
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Postby wiggy » Thu 07 Feb, 2008 9:35 pm

how about the one from the abbey to somewhere in the city centre...near the river??
i do believe,induced by potent circumstances,that thou art' mine enemy?

jonleeds
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JoinedCOLON Thu 31 Jan, 2008 4:59 pm

Postby jonleeds » Thu 07 Feb, 2008 10:02 pm

Hi Folks!

Yes its my photo of the Kirkstall Abbey tunnel that has been doing the rounds!!!

As Rik says his mate couldnt get very far up the tunnel featured in my pic as it comes to a dead end - allegedly! But you would need to be a stick insect to get into the doorway as its almost buried shut.

I have heard various tales of tunnels leading from both the cellar of and the garden of Newlay Manor to Kirkstall Abbey, I've also heard of a tunnel leading from Dean Grange Farm of all places to Kirkstall Abbey which seems very unlikely as thats around 3 miles as the crow flies over land with much ascent and descent.

Its probably that there are a combination of tunnels and drainage culverts combined with local myths / chinese whispers etc that has led to a complete hotchpotch of rumours. However its always intriguing to think there might be secret tunnels, buried gold, ghostly monks etc! I'm still for the Kirkstall Abbey tunnel regardless!
Have your fun when you're alive - you won't get nothing when you die... have a good time all the time! - Chumbawumba!

And no matter how things end, you should always keep in touch with your friends - Dave Gedge
wiggy
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JoinedCOLON Tue 26 Jun, 2007 9:39 am

Postby wiggy » Fri 08 Feb, 2008 12:13 am

jonleeds wrote:
Hi Folks!

Yes its my photo of the Kirkstall Abbey tunnel that has been doing the rounds!!!

As Rik says his mate couldnt get very far up the tunnel featured in my pic as it comes to a dead end - allegedly! But you would need to be a stick insect to get into the doorway as its almost buried shut.

I have heard various tales of tunnels leading from both the cellar of and the garden of Newlay Manor to Kirkstall Abbey, I've also heard of a tunnel leading from Dean Grange Farm of all places to Kirkstall Abbey which seems very unlikely as thats around 3 miles as the crow flies over land with much ascent and descent.

Its probably that there are a combination of tunnels and drainage culverts combined with local myths / chinese whispers etc that has led to a complete hotchpotch of rumours. However its always intriguing to think there might be secret tunnels, buried gold, ghostly monks etc! I'm still for the Kirkstall Abbey tunnel regardless!
those guys were there for hundreds of years,and walked 8 miles a day...barefoot over what was moorland to mine iron ore at seacroft and monkswood,so a few little tunnels?......childs play for those guys.it was those fellas that went to the crusades and also those fellas that gave us the turks heads at whitelocks....hard men in hard times,i reckon they could do pretty much what they set their minds to...
i do believe,induced by potent circumstances,that thou art' mine enemy?

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