Mysterious underground street with homes and tunnels discovered in British town (Video)
Categories: Homes / Dwellings
AN UNDERGROUND street featuring wooden window frames dating back more than 200 years was discovered in North East England.
A 'lost' street has been discovered underground with secret tunnels leading to other parts of the town.
The mysterious underground homes were found during a £1m refurbishment of a Grade II listed Georgian townhouse in Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham.
The mysterious 'lost' street with tiny homes and tunnels was discovered in Stockton-On-Tees in County Durham during a £1m refurbishment plan to build luxury offices.
The tiny homes and secret tunnels are thought to be 250-years-old. They feature original wooden window frames, solid doors and cavities to hold candles.
Jeff Highfield, 49, uncovered the living quarters during the refurbishment of his Grade II Listed Georgian townhouse in the city centre.
Before Mr Highfield gained permission to turn the townhouse into business space, the former upmarket residence Gloucester House had become a hotel and much later a planning office for the local authority.
Fascinated by the find he spoke to local historians to understand the original purpose of the mysterious underground street.
Mr Highfield said: “There used to be access to street level and according to the previous mayors that have been down here we believe these are tunnels that link to other parts of Stockton.
“This used to be effectively a street below the street - living quarters for people that were not very tall I think.
“We believe they used to store animals - being opposite the cattle market we believe that is the case.”
However trying to find written evidence for the theories has proven a difficult task.
Church Road, the terrace of Georgian townhouses where the discovery was made, used to be known as “Paradise Row”.
It was home to wealthy Stockton residents during town’s agricultural and livestock trading days before it was transformed into a busy industrial centre.
Historians believe that even before the First World War, these homes would have become too large if middle class families were to host their domestic-staff.
However the theory of domestic-staff occupying these underground homes does not explain the tunnels.
But it is not the first time Britons make amazing discoveries at home.