Most people were first aware of the existence of tunnels under the streets of Hertford
in an article written by Raymond Brown in the Hertfordshire Mercury on 8th October
The story sounds plausible but do the facts substantiate the claims? This essay reveals
a different truth. But first - this is the article as published:
Hertfordshire Mercury - October 8th 2004
At a secret location in the town, Tim Acheson declared: “We are now prepared to reveal
a secret we feel the people of Hertford should be made aware of. There is an extensive
labyrinth right under their feet.”
“We are talking here about a largely unknown, indeed mostly secret, ancient underground
network that stretches beneath the town’s main street and extends to Fore Street,
Market Square, Parliament Square, Hertford Castle, Church Street, Bluecoats, Priory
Street and in fact many, many other places.”
Ben had also said: “All the sections of the secret Templar labyrinth were once linked.
Here are the parts that I can tell you about. Fore Street was once the hub of the
only part of the network that you know about. No 42 Fore Street was once linked to
numerous chambers beneath Fore Street. It is still linked, via a passage recently
blocked by the previous owners of 42 Fore Street, reaching to Bailey Hall and beyond."
Ben Acheson is referring to the Knights Templar. Much has been written of this order
of late but in summary they were an international military order, a society of warrior
monks formed during the crusades in 1178. They are traditionally thought as being
the Keepers of the Holy Grail and the Ark of the Covenant, growing in power and wealth
and credited with creating the basis of the modern banking system.
In 1307 King Philip arrested all the Templars in France although some escaped to
England. In 1312 the Pope rounded up all the Templars and after accusing them of
heresy, tortured them and put many to death on October 13th of that year.
Tim Acheson and his twin brother Ben believe that a branch of this secret society
is still active in Hertford and that their predecessors built and maintained the
tunnels beneath Hertford.
There are three locations in Hertford that act as the main stations for the intersecting
tunnel network beneath the streets. These are Hertford Castle, Bayley Hall and Shire
Hall. There are also a number of other buildings that play a minor part in connecting
The following four pages offer a brief history of each location. If you prefer you
can skip the history lesson and go straight to the mystery.