Changing Lanes, the 1960s and Earlier
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Tunnel Estate

Gayhurst tunnel

The Monday Photo

Most people don’t realise when they drive through Gayhurst, but there’s a tunnel hidden under the road. Built before 1793, it gave foot access to part of the grounds of Gayhurst House, on the other side of what’s now the B526.

Through the tunnel there was a Chalybeate (heavy iron content) spring, and a bath house which I think is much enlarged now. Chalybeate springs were once thought to have health-giving properties.

The spring is still there but the two boat houses on the Great Ouse are, I’m told, now gone. The bath house sat in open parkland, but the spring and boat houses sat inside Gayhurst Spinney.

The tunnel runs under a causeway, built to raise the 1709 turnpike above flood water. We don’t know if the causeway came first, or if it and the tunnel were built at the same time. This tunnel is just a quarter of a mile away from one of the biggest walnut trees in the United Kingdom.

The only other tunnel I can think of in North Bucks is under the canal aquaduct at Old Wolverton; also close to the Great Ouse. That’s it, unless you know better.

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