It was between the house and the Severn that the sinking in of the ground, by the pressure of a wagon wheel, led to the discovery of an underground passage a few years ago. A shaft five feet square constructed of stones was cleared out, and at a depth of fifteen feet an opening was found, leading in a westerly direction, which got higher after running a considerable distance.
Another opposite to this ran east, but soon turned at right angles to the north. This was of considerable height, but suddenly contracted to the dimensions of the other, at a point where there was a well shaped stone bracket. In following this passage it was found to turn again at right angles to the east, and at the same time to increase considerably in height, and here two brass candle-sticks, or portions of candlesticks, of an. ecclesiastical pattern were found.
The Archaeological Association on visiting the spot pronounced them to be common drains; but the existence of the brackets and their peculiar: construction led many who explored them to hold a different opinion. Two passages were opened in the chapter-house a few years ago, and covered up again. Tradition too alleges that there is an entrance near the two cedars in the abbey garden, down a number of steps, to an underground passage, where there are two iron doors. Among relics from time to time found and treasured up was a portion of a crozier, found near to the candlesticks, a tobacco pipe found under the flooring of the abbey, and, in the chancel, a coloured pavement, with singular looking figures of demons, on glazed tiles. A number of well incised tiles were found in other parts of the building, and a portion of the-abbot’s house was paved with them.
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