Workmen unearth centuries-old secret tunnel while moving a pole in garden

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A secret tunnel that has remained unused for hundreds of years has been uncovered by workmen attempting to move a wooden pole in someone's garden.

A team from Western Power Distribution (WPD) had been called to the village of Tintern in Monmouthshire, South Wales, by a customer who had requested overhead power lines be relocated to a different part of their property.

However, when contractors started digging up a footpath running parallel to a fast-flowing stream in order to re-lay some underground cabling they stumbled across the four-foot-high man-made passage, WalesOnline reports.

Technician Allyn Gore said: "Before work began we'd done all the usual checks and nothing had shown up on any of our drawings or records to indicate there was anything unusual about the site.

"But shortly after the excavation began, the digging team made the extraordinary discovery of what they initially thought to be a cave.

"Work stopped immediately and we were called in to decide what course of action we should take next.

"I have previously been involved in other excavations where we've discovered old wells and cellars not shown on any plans, but nothing as exciting and impressive as this."

Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic and cultural heritage service, was then contacted and they sent someone along to check it out.

Mr Gore added that, although blown away by the find, both WPD and Cadw made the decision to reseal the entrance to the tunnel to prevent the risk of damaging it before any in-depth archaeological examination could take place.

Declared an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Tintern is situated in the heart of the Wye Valley and the remains of its Abbey date back to the early 12th century.

Nearby are also an abundance of ruins from old furnaces, ironworks and forges, and it's thought that the tunnel – which was unearthed and then covered back over last October – might be linked to those.

Untraceable on ordnance survey maps dating back as far as the 1700s, no one living in the area, or anyone from the local authority have admitted knowing it was even there.

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