Banqueting Hall & Gash finally Empty! Progress in the New Tunnel…

Banqueting Hall & Gash finally Empty

The newly emptied Gash, leading down into the Banqueting Hall

Amazing progress has been made in the Banqueting Hall as you will have read. We first started digging out this subterranean chamber under Joseph Williamson’s house in June 2017.

We were delighted, but once again strangely saddened just as we were when we finished Paddington, to finally finish digging out the Banqueting Hall and Gash. Digging under Williamson’s house has been a priority and something we have worked hard to be able to do for many years.

The view down the Gash from the very top in the tight section looking down to Banqueting Hall and the Trench.

Now when you visit the Banqueting Hall, you step around the corner from the Sandstone Arch and into the Gash. The newly uncovered bedrock floor in the Gash slopes quite steeply downward. Descending down through the tight squeeze you will remember if you have visited before, widening at the bottom.

The Trench, below the floor of the Banqueting Hall, with the Gash heding to the left and the New Tunnel on the far side.

This slope in the Gash brings you right down, into the Trench that we found recently. Therfore you are now much lower, looking up into the Banqueting Hall, below the bedrock floor of the chamber. It is quite a view…

In the next few weeks or so, we will be concentrating on putting, safe steps down the steep sloped floor of the Gash replacing the temporary duck boards that the diggers have in place now. This will make accessing the Banqueting Hall much safer for visitors.

The last three artefacts to be found whilst digging out the Gash and the Banqueting Hall were these two nice complete bottles and the very last Artefact being a the Clay Pipe below.

The New Rock Cut Tunnel Progress update.

The Gash can be seen leading off to the Left, up the steep slope towards the SandStone Arch. whilst on the right is the New Tunnel.

We have also started the slow process of breaking through the brick wall that blocks the the newly discovered Rock Cut Tunnel through the Chamber wall. Whilst we have a long way to go removing this wall, due to its thickness, we have managed to make a hole on the right hand side.

This small hole has so far enabled us to confirm a few things. The tunnel does as expected seem to lead into another passage or chamber. Though just like Paddington and the Banqueting Hall it does seem to have a lot of infill of the same type as we have already seen elsewhere dumped inside.

Amazingly we discovered our first artefact from just inside this chamber within the infill. The find is a nice small and simple but complete bottle. We will add a Photo of the bottle when available.

So it seems that this chamber has been used for dumping, with the usual artefacts (Victorian rubbish) that we have grown accustomed to finding within.

As we continue to progress through this tunnel and into the next section of subterranean chambers, our journey of discovery looks set to continue.

Stay tuned…


  1. Had the pleasure of being shown down the dig on the mason st, site a few weeks ago with my grand daughter, it was truly amazing the stone steps leading up to the house were a surprise as they were much wider than you would expect,it was so deep into the bottom i think the team who do the digging and moving off all the tons of soil and rubbish as volunteers deserve a medal for all their hard work over the years, cant wait to come again to see more , best wishes to all of you keep up the good work,as this can only add to the historic attractions of a great city, regards from anne in cumbria.

    • Many thanks, glad you enjoyed your visit. Please do visit us again sometime soon. Chris

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