“Secret Chambers and Hiding Places” is a collection of concealments and their uses, almost all within England, although a very few passages and chambers in continental Europe are mentioned, Jacobite hidey holes in Scotland, while the final chapter of the book covers Bonnie Prince Charlie’s wanderings around Scotland, among caves and other hiding places. Most chapters are devoted to historical events; such as the the seventeenth century persecution of Roman Catholics (with many large houses having specially constructed “priests’ holes”), or various unpopular monarchs and their hiding places. The text is scattered with legends and true stories, with occasional skeletons found, still hiding, long centuries after the searchers have left. The author describes hidden doors, passages, rooms and pits with enormous enthusiasm … and with considerable regret when he has to describe secret places lost to demolition or modernization. You’ll wish you could wander the country, poking into the darkest recesses of every old house you find!
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