University of London team to examine tunnels unearthed in the Mercury
Experts investigate secret Templar tunnels found beneath Hertford, UK
A TEAM of tunnel experts is set to descend on Hertford in a bid to uncover the subterranean labyrinth revealed by the Mercury.
Archaeologists, geologists and historians based at the University of London will don Davy lamps in an effort to shed light on the ancient county town’s historical underground network.
Members of Subterranea Britannica contacted the Mercury following our story last week about the secret chambers and passages said to connect key sites in Hertford, including County Hall and the Castle.
The vice-chairman of the society, MC Black, said: “I was fascinated to read about the tunnels and would be very interested to look into them further.
“I will be contacting members with some expertise including geologists and archaeologists to visit Hertford and try to verify the extent of the system.”
And he asked a Mercury reporter to give a presentation on the search for hidden Hertford to the society, which has an advisory role with the Ministry of Defence, at their annual meeting in Cambridge next year.
The move comes despite a threat from a sinister secret society based in Hertford, which warned people not to delve deeper into the town’s subterranean secrets.
The menacing message was posted on community website wareonline.co.uk this week, but quickly removed.
It was written by a character called ‘Retarius’ and read: “Those responsible had no business publicising any of the Templar tunnels, disused or otherwise.”
It appeared to warn the Templars who had revealed the tunnel network that they would be “dealt with” and added: “Anybody intending to find out more, let alone discover hidden areas of the labyrinth, should check their life insurance policy very carefully indeed.”
The message sent a shiver through the spine of Templar twins Ben and Tim Acheson, who exposed the secret tunnels to the Mercury.
But Ben said: “As long as we’re responding to emails and calls, and unless there is blood on my sword, or my brother’s sword, I think you can safely assume that we have not been ‘dealt with’ yet.”
Last week the Achesons spoke about how they believe the tunnels could even hold a clue in the search for the Holy Grail. It is believed to have been kept by the Templars, a group of warrior monks who date back to the Crusades.
Some of the knights were based at Temple Chelsin, Bengeo, and are said to have buried treasure which, despite efforts by King Edward II almost 600 years ago, was never found.
Does Ware have its own subterranean secrets?
AFTER revelations that a warren of tunnels runs beneath Hertford, there are claims that Ware could have its own dark and secret labyrinth.
The Mercury’s report last week revealing Hertford’s subterranean heritage has sparked speculation in Ware that it too has a set of chambers and passages.
It is believed that monks who lived in The Priory used a tunnel to gain underground access to St Mary’s Church in Church Street.
Christina Yanetski, who owns the Tap Bar in High Street, believes that her medieval cellar is the entrance to a tunnel that may once have led to the Priory or the church.
She said: “I think the monks must have used it as an escape route during the Reformation.
“It is sweet to think that they also used it to come and get a pint from the pub, which has been here since 1452.”
But a Priory spokeswoman claimed that there is no tunnel in the crypt and local historian and publisher David Perman said that the labyrinth is a myth.
He told the Mercury: “There are two rivers underneath Baldock Street which run through tunnels and there are lots of vaulted cellars in places in the town.
“There are supposed to be tunnels running from Manor House in Church Street to The Priory and Thunder Hall at the top of Baldock Street, and to St Mary’s Church.
“But I don’t believe any of them exist because there isn’t a crypt in the church — you’d have to fight your way through coffins to reach it from underground.
“There are legends that the monks would use a tunnel from the Priory to the pub, which is now the Tap Bar, and that they would knock on the door to collect some beer. It’s all legend.”
But Christina said: “I live in Crib Street and there is definitely an entrance to a tunnel in the garden.”
There is a local legend that the Tap Bar tunnel collapsed, killing several monks, and nobody has dared brave the dark passage under the pub ever since.
But some residents are undaunted by the claims from the local historian and a group of them are set to go on a mission to explore the tunnels using a video camera.
One said: “There is at least one tunnel beneath Ware town centre, a secret passage connecting the vault beneath St Mary’s Church and the medieval crypt of Ware Priory.
“Its existence is denied by both the church and The Priory.”
TUNNEL VISION (PHOTO): Knights Templar Ben Acheson revealed the tunnel network to the Mercury; top, our story from last week.
[Modern Knights Templar photographed working ritual with sword outside Temple in secret location late at night. Wearing suit, tie and white gloves, he holds a sword against his chest in a ritual grip as he faces the rising sun. ]
SOURCE: Hertfordshire Mercury, "Experts look into Hertford's labyrinth", p 23, 15 October 2004.
Web of Hiram - English Knights Templar
Web of Hiram - Degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite
To avoid persecution, the early Christians were compelled to use great precaution, and to hold meetings of the faithful [of the household of faith] in private places, under concealment by darkness. They assembled in the night, and they guarded against the intrusion of false brethren and Profane persons, spies, who might cause their arrest. ... There, amid labyrinthine windings, deep caverns, hidden chambers, chapels and tombs, the persecuted fugitives found refuge, and there they performed the the ceremonies of the mysteries.
Hertfordshire Mercury, "The secrets of underground Hertford", pp 16-17, 8 October 2004.
"The Insider" mailing list article, 15 October 2004.
Tags: Hertford, Knights, Templar, tunnels, Hertfordshire, underground, network, labrynth, Templars, secret, passages, town, centre, , conspiracy theories.