Topics > Heritage Sites > Newcastle Town Walls > The Town Walls and associated Towers.

The Town Walls and associated Towers.

Secret tunnels leading from the Wall Towers.

I first came across these interesting anomalies (Tunnels) around 1965 when I had cause to visit one of the substantial Wall Towers. In the basement of the Tower was a sealed tunnel entrance! You can (Still) see the heavy stone lintel above the entrance. The lady there who I saw also told me that her husband had entered the tunnel and walked some distance into it. I forget the exact details but it was toward the Claremont Road area and more. Much later, I knew what I would see there as I had dowsed several tunnels exiting several of the Towers already and mapped out their lie and routes. I learned how to dowse in July 1993 and have utilised it considerably since. Only the rich could afford to construct a Tower and attach it to the Wall and they built their Towers close to their Houses in order to access their Tower quickly. I now have a map of several of these Tunnels and their points of access. Each Tower has more than one tunnel. If you wish to read about these, a glance at some authoritative Newcastle History Books will show you just how many may exist. The Towers themselves are each owned by someone of import. The Tower that I mention has four tunnels exiting it. One tunnel heads toward the Metro where felons were executed, one toward St Andrews Church which likely owned the Tower or paid for it be constructed (Possibly not with their own money. The people were the ones who ultimately paid). They also paid for the Andrew Tower most likely, as a tunnel from the Church runs through the Tower). A third tunnel  runs back to the corner (Heber?) Tower on Bath Lane and the fourth Tunnel runs across Stowell Street and through the arch into the precincts of Blackfriars (Also known as the shod friars. They were allegedly the only order to wear footwear) where it runs into the gable end of the Friary. My very first tunnel dowse was looking for the tunnel written about in Henry BOURNE's History of Newcastle upon Tyne, 1736. There is also mention of other tunnels in that book. However, it is written in the book that the tunnel "In the Nuns' garden" was sealed many years earlier so that means much older than 1736, the book's publication date. It is a mine of information and gives several locations of tunnels. I would have liked to insert a couple of pictures here but I am unfamiliar with this site and my time is precious. I have also used a map of the Town Walls and marked it showing the routes of several tunnels leading around the Town and the tunnels exiting the Towers. There is much to do still and I am running out of time. 

Newcastle Town Walls


Add a comment or share a memory.

Login to add a comment. Sign-up if you don't already have an account.


Co-Curate is a project which brings together online collections, museums, universities, schools and community groups to make and re-make stories and images from North East England and Cumbria. Co-Curate is a trans-disciplinary project that will open up 'official' museum and 'un-officia'l co-created community-based collections and archives through innovative collaborative approaches using social media and open archives/data.