Scientists working on behalf of Edinburgh University's School of Geosciences have discovered that a set of tunnels and caves beneath the town of Glimerton near Edinburgh are much more extensive than previously thought and could indicate the existence of a hidden underground druid temple. The true purpose and creators of the tunnel system, known as Glimerton Cove, have remained a mystery since the founding of Glimerton. Some historical reports have it that the tunnels were used by a local blacksmith named George Paterson who lived in the tunnels and used them as a workshop. However, local reports of the tunnels extend much farther back than Patterson’s use of them. Today, tours of the tunnels are regularly given to the public.
To try and unravel the mystery of Glimerton Cove, the researchers from Edinburgh University have been taking underground surveys of the tunnel system using ground-penetrating radar. To their surprise, researchers have discovered that this tunnel system is far more extensive than previously believed and includes many hidden passages, some blocked off intentionally. The entire system of tunnels is at least twice the size it was previously estimated to be. The tunnels are lined with stone benches, alcoves with stone tables, and even a chapel.
Margaretanne Dugan, a tour guide at Glimerton Cove, said the extent of the tunnel system and what might be found in their depths remains unknown:
It's incredibly exciting. We would love it if we could finally find out what lies beyond the blocked tunnels, if we could unlock those secrets and solve the mystery once and for all.
Julian Spalding, a former head of Glasgow’s museums, believes the mysterious tunnel system is likely some sort of druid temple complex:
Druids were known to meet in secret in woods and caves away from habitation. If it is a druid temple, discovered by chance in the 18th century, then it will be the first substantial archaeological evidence of this sophisticated and highly-secretive priesthood.
Another theory posits that the tunnel system might have been used by the Hellfire Club, a social club for members of high society who wished to engage in saturnalia and hedonism beyond the prying eyes of the public. Others allege the tunnels are related to witchcraft or occult rituals of unknown secret societies.
Could this be merely a true underground man cave, or could it actually be a secretive temple? As with most discovery announcements, much more research is needed before conclusions can be drawn.