Monday, February 13, 2006
A Tunnel at Tredegar?
There are always tall tales connected to historic places. One of my favourites involves the fireplace in the Gilt Room. It was said that the gaping mouths of the two gilded gargoyles flanking the fireplace used to have tongues. If the tongues of both were pulled at the same time, the fireplace would spin around to reveal a tunnel. There was a little debate as to where this tunnel led: I have heard it stated that it stretched to the banks of the River Usk for smuggling; an even wilder tale had it stretching all the way to the second Morgan home in South Wales, Ruperra Castle!
Sadly, this is all gilded balderdash. If you stand in the Cedar Garden you can actually see the back of the Gilt Room fireplace jutting out, and nobody has ever found any evidence of a tunnel. Ah well.
But what if there really was a tunnel at Tredegar House? What if the cellars contained more than barrels of beer and bottles of wine? The new 'Unexplored Tredegar' tours will dig into this theory further. We will present the evidence (such as it is), and the visitor can make up their own mind. Of course a survey (anybody got a handy geophysics machine lying around?) might put the matter beyond doubt.