Discoveries at Delancey

17th November 2015
Delancey Park from the Priaulx LIbrary Collection

'A place of romance and mystery.' From the Guernsey Evening Press, June 13, 1919. The cromlech at Delancey had been discovered just a few days earlier.

Interview with former caretaker

Yesterday our representative was able to obtain an interview with Mr H Cook, of the Half-Way, who became caretaker of Delancey Park when the States took over the Park, and who explored practically every foot of the whole area very carefully and minutely.

A cellar with relics

Mr Cook has had some exciting adventures in the course of his duties. For instance, on one occasion he was planting trees by the Schools when the earth sudddenly caved in. He carefully probed the position, and delving down, ultimately excavated a thick square wall, measuring some 14 feet long by six feet wide, forming what appears to have been a cellar. In the area were ashes and egg-shells and a large number of coins, some bearing dates, also clay pipes, forks, and china. These articles, he added, were handed over to Mr T J Guilbert, the States Surveyor.

A large masoned well

Again, on one occasion, when working below the flagstaff near the Battery, Mr Cook just saved himself from falling into a cavity. On closer investigation, it was found that boards had been placed over the aperture of a large well, masoned with cut stones, and that the boards had rotted away, leaving but turfed roots covering the vent. This well was 20 feet in depth and was seven feet across. There was no water in it, and it was filled with soil.

A bricked well

Another wall was found lying 150 feet to the north-west of the Monument. This well, which is still in existence, is composed of brickwork, with an arched top and man-hole. It is 36 feet deep, and about 12 feet across, and contains many thousands of red bricks, not of the size in present make. Mr Cook found that this well contained six feet of water. He placed two sheets of corrugated iron over the man-hole, and covered this with two loads of concrete. Through this he arranged a pipe, by which the water could be plumbed. It was found that the depth of water ranged from six to nine feet.

Is it a tunnel?

Mr Cook states that there is one spot he has never explored, though often he has wondered what could lie beneath. It appears that on the Park, facing the residence of Mr Upham, and near a clump of five trees, there is a spot where, if the ground be thumped, a long hollow sound is heard. Mr Cook considers that investigation would probably bring to light a tunnel way there.

There are reputed to be nine wells on the Park. One was discovered in the centre of the football ground, a horse falling into the cavity being the first intimation of its existence. It was, of course, filled in. The well at present in use lies north of the Monument, and is 50 feet deep. It is of brickwork, and contains about nine feet of water.

The Park is apparently a place of romance and mystery.