While researching something completely different (again!) I came across a couple of newspaper articles from 1951 which reminded me of something I read ages ago about a similar incident from 1906. Make of it what you will!
The main problem is that the 1907 account describe a tunnel running in “a northerly direction”. Presumably the “Edwardian fortifications” it refers to is the citadel rather than the walls which are to the east and a connecting tunnel would have to be a lot lower to connect. Yet Mr Suthren’s report states the tunnel is running towards Ravensdowne! Perhaps they are different tunnels. Perhaps we will never know.
I have written to English Heritage at the National Monuments Record in Swindon to see if they have any records of this. In the meantime, if anyone from the Piercy and Suthren families has any information, I would be extremely grateful.
- Above: Cutting from Berwickshire News and General Advertiser 12th March 1907.
- Below: From an article by the late Francis Cowe “The Lions Gardens” from the Berwick Bulletin 4th July 1979 referring to another contemporary account of Mr Piercy’s close shave.
- Left: The story in The Berwick Advertiser, 18th January 1951.
- Right: A follow up piece the following week.
- Detail from 1923 OS map. Moor’s Ropery is shown in the centre. This is the ridge that is the foundations of the unfinished south wall of the Elizabethan walls.
The Edwardian walls are indicated by the yellow line.
The south extent of the Edward VI Citadel refered to is shown in green.
A known tunnel leading to the Kings Mount flanker—it must have been known about then—is highlighted in red.
For more history on these features see an earlier blog post about the Lions House allotments.