Hidden East Anglia:

Landscape Legends of Eastern England











Landscape Features



Earls Colne:


Secret tunnel


Part of the Castle pub (TL859288), in the High Street, has been dated to 1375. From this originally-private house an underground passage is said to run first, to St. Andrew’s church (TL860288), then on to the site of the former Benedictine Priory close by. Founded in 1100, nothing remains above ground, at TL863288.


Source: ‘Daily Gazette’, June 2nd 2008.



East Hanningfield:


Secret tunnel


In Old Church Road is East Hanningfield Hall (TQ765998), a timber-framed house of possibly 16th century origin, with many later alterations and additions. As well as a cellar and a 'secret staircase', there is said to be a cupboard giving access to an underground passage - although where it goes to isn't stated.


Source: http://www.zoopla.co.uk-east-hanningfield-hall





The suicide pool


It may be an invention or an elaboration by the prolific writer Elliott O’Donnell, but somewhere in Epping Forest there is supposed to be a ‘suicide pool’. Reputedly the scene of many tragedies, even those who had no thought of killing themselves are said to have drowned there. O’Donnell, in his 1948 book ‘Haunted Britain’, never claimed to have seen any ghosts there, but he described the weedy, 10 foot (3m) deep pond as being the home of “unearthly presences, some very miserable, and others definitely evil”. Its exact whereabouts do not seem to be recorded, but one Essex local described it in 1959 as “deep in the heart of the forest, far from any road. Birds are never heard; squirrels and deer shun its vicinity; no one fishes there, for there are no fish. It is dank, evil and malignant, with an atmosphere unpleasant beyond description”.


Source: ‘Loughton and District Historical Society Newsletter’ 185, (March/April 2010), p.9.



Ghosts from the pond


There are several ponds either side of Lindsey Street (TL454034), and from one of them ghostly figures on horseback were said to arise, then head towards the town of Epping and vanish. They were supposedly seen a number of times during the 1960's, but there is no word as to whether they ever appeared again.


Source: Joseph Flaig: 'Epping Forest's Haunted History', in 'East London & West Essex Guardian' (online edition), 12/12/2014.