All most of find when digging our gardens are old bottles, broken glass or if we are lucky the odd coin. The gardeners at Blenheim Palace as to be expected of one of our grandest estates find something more special, over thirty hidden rooms.
Few people realise that for around sixty years, the famous viaduct bearing the name of the architect John Vanbrugh, stood alone without the lake. It is Capability Brown we can thank for today’s iconic view, he raised the water level to create the 160 acre lake we are familiar with.
Over the centuries, silt has built up to the point, that now for the first time since the flooding, dredging is necessary, in order to do this, the lake has been drained.
It’s always been known that under the bridge there were rooms flooded, the surprise is their scale. Around thirty rooms as well as tunnels are now accessible for the first time. Some are quite cavernous, one possibly a ballroom another a theatre but there is no record of them being in use.
As well as the rooms, there are also sunken boats, cars and other artifacts on show again. The walls have graffiti presumably dating back to the early builders.
Needless to say the archaeologists and historians are having a great time.