Experts unveil plans to seek Ammanford Castle's secret tunnel
THE hunt for Ammanford Castle’s secret tunnel is on!
UK Hidden Secrets – a team of experts in legends and myths – are launching the quest after seeing a report in the Guardian.
Legend has it that Ammanford’s motte and bailey – off Tirydail Lane – was linked to Carreg Cennen Castle by an underground tunnel.
Widower Kathleen Stott told the Guardian in November last year of a childhood memory of her late husband, Kenneth, who grew up in Harold Street, very close to the castle, in the 1930s.
Mrs Stott, from Dryslwyn, said Kenneth discovered an apparent well in the castle grounds and, on further investigation, realised the hole led to a flight of steps.
The story struck a chord with Carmel garage owner Melvin Davies, 60, who recalls playing near the site as a youngster.
“I was living on Tirydail Lane at the time and my friends and I used to go and play in the grounds,” he said.
“The secret passage is not in the castle mound, it’s underneath the kitchen of the old Cartref Children’s Home on the same site.
“My mother worked there as a cook, and I remember being taken down into the cellar and being shown a big door,” he said.
Melvin was told this door was the entrance to a secret passage.
Vi Francis, from Pentregwenlais, a former care worker at the home, also recalls being told of the secret passage. “The men at the home would often talk of the secret tunnel, although I’m not sure that anyone ever went down,” said Vi, 88, now a resident at Glanmarlais.
Rumours were refuelled by unconfirmed reports that an ancient subterranean passage were unearthed during the construction of the LNG pipeline near Llandeilo.
UK Hidden Secrets researcher Ayden Stephens has been carrying out a survey of the castle, and hopes to bring the rest of his Swansea-based team to the site next spring.
“We are keen to get people involved in our research,” said Steve Day, Chairman of UK Hidden Secrets.
“Our website has a link to the information we have collated on the castle and we would love to hear from you.”
Ammanford town councillor Jonathan Davies said: “If this tunnel really exists it’s amazing to think how talented us Welsh folk were way back then.
“It’s brilliant that someone is taking an interest in Ammanford’s motte and bailey – we need more people to make a song and dance about it.”
Louise Austin, of Dyfed Archaeological Trust, said: “We will be interested in any new evidence they may unearth.”
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