EVERTONíS TUNNELS AND CAVES

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Local gossip, unsubstantiated by exploration, has it that there is a cave system beneath the village. Whilst underground passages and tunnels are part of many villageís folklore, there are stories of underground space in the area.

 

The local geology is the Lower Cambridgeshire Greensand which, over the 90 odd million years since its deposition, has had much of its iron content leached out by the rain to produce an iron pan. This is a very hard band a metre or so below the surface which, with the development of the deep plough in the late Industrial Revolution, allowed better surface drainage and much of the sandy heathland to be brought into cultivation. The water draining through this iron pan can erode out considerable spaces. A visit to the sand pits at Potton will reveal an astonishing assortment of tubes and hollows in the Greensand where the iron has crystallised allowing water to drain through it. It is possible that quite large systems have been formed beneath the village.

 

One story has it that a workman was called to investigate the collapse of a well at Manor Farm. What was unusual was that it hadnít collapsed inward to fill the bottom of the well. There was just a gaping hole in the side. On investigation it was claimed that the opening led into a vast cave, a lake filling its bottom and stretching towards Gamlingay!

 

There is a story that there used to be a duck pond in Gamlingay which one day disappeared, along with the ducks! Many days later the ducks reappeared. No-one knows where they went but it is supposed that a cave beneath the village got so large that its roof collapsed and the overlying duck pond disappeared into it, along with the ducks. If the story is true, then presumably the ducks found a way through the cave/tunnels to find another opening elsewhere in the village!

 

Manor Farm tunnel

 

Another story tells of Italian prisoners of war digging a tunnel from White Wood House, the residence of Edward ďMouseĒ Fielden, the wartime commander of RAF Tempsford, down to the airfield. This story has not been substantiated.

 

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