From 1958 to 1965 I knew there were cellars, but never saw them nor knew what they were used for. That is very odd, because I now believe they were used in my time and throughout for storing trunks. Casting my mind back 60 years I simply cannot remember what was done with the trunks. I suppose now that we left them somewhere and that the caretaking staff put them down in the cellars.
Various stories about the cellars - and photos of them - have come to light over the years, but a definitive history and documentation is lacking. This page goes some way towards resolving this issue, and most of the photos are thanks to Kev Smith, IHS Deputy-Director of Operations, who took Mark Frost and me on a quick visit on the day of the WHS Reunion on Saturday, July 8th 2023 - for which many thanks.
Simon Pearce had told us the day before at his talk on the Berners Family in Berners Hall, Woolverstone that cellars were essential for the family, not only to store things but also to save the family and guests having to watch servants scuttling from one side of the house to the other carrying various things.
What is visible today are a long corridor and multiple rooms of different shapes and sizes off it, with various ways up to ground level, not all of which I was able to snap. Still, the photos give an insight into the underworld life of the Berners servants.
PS. There is apparently not one continuous joined-up system of cellars, but a principal one with the long tunnel and a number of other smaller ones not connected to it. As for the story about a possible passage to The Cat House, more research is needed - which Mark Frost and others wil no doubt supply in the fullness of time!
Alex O'Sullivan - Halls 87-88: “The 22 firing range was between the two wings under the drive. There used to be two glass windows (the size of a saucer) either side of the flower bed in the grass circle area, that shone down into that range. During my time there was no access from the main cellar into the firing range. We accessed it from the left wing of the house which was at my time George Meese's house (unsure of the spelling).”