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Tunnels at the Castle
Tunnels at the Castle

Water Tunnel around the Motte

When my dad was the same age as me both him and his brother used to climb inside this entrance and go under the wall, for about fifteen feet before either my dad or his brother would make a ghostly noise.

Then they would both run out really quick. This was in 1975 and because it was very dangerous the council covered the whole entrance with a big mound of soil. Thirty two years later, with all the rain the soil has spread out exposing the top of the tunnel again. the below picture was drawn by Mr Sydney Simmons

The picture above from my Dads collection  dated 1832 clearly shows the entrance with the water running through the castle wall down to the river Medway

Tunnels in the curtain wall

These two tunnels are found in the curtain wall that surrounds the castle over the years there has been so many stories about secret tunnels from the Castle to the church or Priory but what can we see now?. When the Castle was built there was a big wall that went all around it this is called the curtain wall. Inside this we can still see entrances and shoots next to the river. You use to be able to walk through the wall and down the steps to the river to get water or clean things. The River never use to be as big as it is now. It was very low and not so deep and wide because cattle and sheep used to drink near the bridge where it was called the water gate. The tunnels in the wall have been blocked up to stop children playing in them and the shoots were to throw away rubbish.

 Tunnel in the Mound

This entrance in the Castle mound is said to have tunnels going under the castle lawn & link to the wall

I spoke to a man called Mervin who said that when he was a boy it was open and when you went inside it dropped down but was blocked by dirt. He said he was told that when it went under the lawn, it was built up with large tree trunks being supported by others to make up a platform to the height of the castle curtain wall.

There use to be a bandstand on the Castle lawn many years ago. Apparently when the band where practicing the legs collapsed into the lawn.

A tunnel was found at the grounds of Somerhill house in 1990 and it was brick lined and went towards the priory works but had collapsed.

Also a story was that workmen while working on the road that leads to Hildenborough with a hammer drill, exposed a large hole or tunnel under the road.