Hiding in a hole in Harvington Hall

Would you be brave enough to spend 36 hours in a priest hide?

Phil Downing will be locked into one of Harvington Hall's ingenious priest hides on the 29 November to help raise money for repairs to the Hall's bridges.

Having received a £117,000 grant, the Hall just needs another £30,000 to complete the work.

And Phil, the Hall’s manager, is hoping the stunt will help raise the outstanding cash.

A Grade 1 listed Elizabethan moated manor house, Harvington Hall is famed for having no fewer than seven priest holes.

The Hall’s two bridges, which date from the 1700s, are the only way to access the building which is on an island. The bridges are in need of repairs to ensure they can continue to be safely used, to allow visitor access and emergency vehicles.

Work on the bridges means that part of the moat has been drained, with archaeologists on hand to look for any hidden treasures from the Hall’s past.

The moat has not been drained since the 1930s, when archaeologists found spectacles, clay pipes and slipware plate fragments which have been reassembled and are now displayed in the Hall.

Harvington is one of the 17 sites funded by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, which received £2.9million from Historic England for urgent repair programmes under the second round of funding via the Heritage Stimulus Fund.

You can support Phil’s sponsored hide here.

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