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 West Wycombe, The Hellfire Caves

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delboy
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PostSubject: West Wycombe, The Hellfire Caves   Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:00 pm

The story starts in West Wycombe a little village 3 miles from High Wycombe in 1748 the whole area seems to be controlled by the Dashwood Family who lived in a grand Mansion called West Wycombe Park.





In those days the 3 miles of main road from High Wycombe to West Wycombe was horrendous with deep ruts and very slippery, causing many carriages using it to overturned. The road today is the one in this photo




In 1748, 1749 and 1750 the local farmers had three disastrous years with their crops and the Dashwoods had an open-cast quarry on the side of the hill used to extract chalk for road foundations around their property. Due to the farmers blight, the Dashwoods allowed the farmers to earn a shilling a day by extracting the chalk out of the hillside to go to making the foundations of the main road.


However, things got a bit sinister, as the caves were dug out in a shape of some Greek symbolic Eleusinian mystery. Where some believed that those performing in certain rituals would be rewarded after life but there is no evidence that religious rituals took place in these caves






Meanwhile 8 miles down the road the Dashwood’s already had a previous small cave dug out near Marlow where various dignitaries and their fanciful ladies met for scones hehehe


So this morning Mrs Db and I arrived at the Hellfire Caves to investigate the facts for MF, eerily arriving at 11am, the exact opening time, which meant that no one else would be down there to hear our screams.


There was a small free car park and admission was £4 for OAP and £5 for you others. The entrance to the caves had a Gothic like archway (is that Geordie talk, i'm picking up) lol!






Mrs Db was first to put her token in the machine to gain entry, I closely followed. The front part of the cave had been modernised, however, these caves were first opened as a tourist attraction to the public in 1950 by one of the Baron's sons who had visited the Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. The son saw the great interest the Mexician caves had produced and thought West Wycombe caves could create the same public interest. The Baron thought his son was mad but gave him permission and had structural surveys carried out but these had prohibitive costs, but in those days there was no health and safety, so the son took a chance and charged a £1 a go (and you got a free candle). However, Since 1970s the work required to make the caves safe has been done






Various stories have been told and ghosts are apparently seen, so I had my trusty TZ30 camera to hand, as others had only achieve fuzzy pictures so far lol!

We walked on, still in a renovated area with bricks on the wall




Then as we go deeper underground, we could hear just the dripping of the water from the ceiling on to the floor





Apparently after the caves were finished it was used by the Hellfire club which was previously formed at Medmenham near Marlow. Only members were allowed passed a certain point in the tunnel and the steward in a cubby hole noteably Paul Whitehead made sure of that (sorry Daryn your too old) lol!







Men in the club dressed in robes and leaders had different colours, the others including women wore masks and dressed in white.






Somewhere in a dimly lit tunnel, we read that a lady in white walks this area, we hung around a bit (well 3 seconds). affraid
Lets go Mrs Db it looks more interesting further down pale












More to come


Last edited by delboy on Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:35 am; edited 6 times in total
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Daryn
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PostSubject: Re: West Wycombe, The Hellfire Caves   Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:28 pm

Have a rep Im enjoying the story so far and love the fact you are nearly a geordie now lol

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Mick
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PostSubject: Re: West Wycombe, The Hellfire Caves   Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:36 pm

An intriguing story mate, look forward to more, rep from me as well.

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delboy
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PostSubject: Re: West Wycombe, The Hellfire Caves   Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:23 pm

Soon the cave became more natural chalk and ancient carving have been put into the chalk



It's a lot darker down here, this was my flash helping



It didn't scare me did it, Mrs Db,.. Mrs Db,..... Mrs Db. How many times have I told you not to go down those other passages without telling me affraid



The TV haunting team have been down here and a nun walks this stretch affraid



I watched this model for a couple of seconds, it didn't move, least I don't think it did



Anyway why would someone haunt this place, there is only a church graveyard 300 feet above us, unless of course they fancied stretching their legs affraid

Bloody hell what's that I've just tripped over, oh it's only an arm affraid (Thats right in ones path health and safety there)



Soon we got to the Banquetting Hall with various markings on the roof



you can actually hold private functions down here, which is directly under the church, you wouldn't want anyone banging on the ceiling here affraid



The Dashwoods travelled a lot and were influenced by Italy more on that





various secrets still remain and coins have been discovered in the chalk

more to come as we venture further in


Last edited by delboy on Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:52 am; edited 1 time in total
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Daryn
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PostSubject: Re: West Wycombe, The Hellfire Caves   Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:25 pm

I actually saw the most haunted in them caves on tv

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Mick
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PostSubject: Re: West Wycombe, The Hellfire Caves   Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:26 pm

Daryn wrote:
I actually saw the most haunted in them caves on tv

Don't have nightmares mate. affraid affraid

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delboy
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PostSubject: Re: West Wycombe, The Hellfire Caves   Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:38 pm

so it was on to the last deepest part



Crossing the river Styx named after the legendary river which divided this world from the next, it was originally recorded that members of the club had to cross on stepping stones to reach the otherside affraid





There are two references to a secret tunnel, in poems from that time and it is said that the passage leads up to the church itself, others have searched for the entrance but it has never been found, sceptics say that it would go up too steep to get to the church



at the very bottom is the inner temple with this bunch of reprobates



After 40 minutes we hadn't spotted a ghost and were heading back via a different route and I could hear a family coming down thinking they were the only ones in there. The woman was telling the children about the white lady and then I appeared from a side tunnel. "It ok children it's only another man", as they hung on to her dress

"Yes and stop bawling at me in the supermarket every week", with revenge he thought with a smile on his face.

Summing up this could all be a myth like the Loch Ness Monster, to attract the members of the public. However, I could see how you could scare the hell out of someone not expecting you lol!

More to come as we go up to find out what the golden ball is all about


Last edited by delboy on Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:54 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Daryn
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PostSubject: Re: West Wycombe, The Hellfire Caves   Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:01 pm

Brilliant loved that Del

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Mick
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PostSubject: Re: West Wycombe, The Hellfire Caves   Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:14 pm

Looks like last years meet up around that table. wink

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Mark
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PostSubject: Re: West Wycombe, The Hellfire Caves   Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:45 pm

I'm enjoying this, rep from me Very Happy

Can't see how the bloke could have stopped you from going in though, as the gate he was behind was padlocked? scratch

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delboy
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PostSubject: Re: West Wycombe, The Hellfire Caves   Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:45 pm

So it was a walk up West Wycombe Hill, now the Dashwoods who owned all the land around were not going to leave it and had built a hugh family Mausoleum at the top of the hill



and can be seen across the countryside and it is lit up at night



a fuzzy ghost picture was taken here but all was quiet today cheers

and remember the guy Paul Whitehouse, friend of the Dashwoods had his heart cut out after death and had it put in one of the urns, it was stolen and he is said to wander the caves looking for it affraid






So now around to the church, where we were 300 feet down



and the mystery of the golden ball



The church doors only open on Sunday afternoons



So we couldn't go inside, the ball was added by the Dashwoods who renovated parts of the church and as mentioned, the Second Baron travelled aboard and was taken by the Venetian Churches that had golden balls. As mentioned in the other thread it was possible to the climb up into the ball but not for the faint hearted. (now no longer possible) It is said that messages were passed to the Hellfire club in Marlow using mirrors dot dot dot send more woman we are having another meeting. lol!

with the aid of my new camera I can get you closer to it, see the port holes



It was originally rolled in gold leaf and Wycombe council did redo it about 30 years ago but now it looks a bit worse for wear.

so it was now finally down the hill and into West Wycombe







To seek out the pub the George and Dragon



This was the pub that I have now just found out was the working place of a maid who wanted to marry into gentry and saved herself. However, three local lads who were spurned by her sent her a fake note from a gentleman telling her to me him at the caves. She went and anger broke out and she was murdered and became the "Lady in White" Ghost

The George and Dragon



Mrs Db had Scampi and I had meat pie, the young lady brought it over to us, "Would you like blood on your Scampi" affraid affraid affraid affraid

I hope you enjoyed my little adventure into the unknown it did make a grand day out cheers


Last edited by delboy on Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:03 am; edited 1 time in total
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delboy
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PostSubject: Re: West Wycombe, The Hellfire Caves   Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:46 pm

Mark wrote:
I'm enjoying this, rep from me Very Happy

Can't see how the bloke could have stopped you from going in though, as the gate he was behind was padlocked? scratch


That's to stop me nicking him lol!
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Mark
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PostSubject: Re: West Wycombe, The Hellfire Caves   Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:47 pm

Have to say that this sort of thing is right up my street, I would be hiding and jumping out on people, when we went to Warwick Castle I sat down on a box in the dungeons bit, Jan walked on cos she knew what I was like, I just sat very still and then when someone came near from around the corner I just stood up and started walking off, i didn't even look at her, she screamed like she was being murdered lololol Laughing

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delboy
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PostSubject: Re: West Wycombe, The Hellfire Caves   Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:50 pm

you would be cleaning up the mess down there

I went down in shirt sleeves thinking it would be hot but it was pretty cold
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Mark
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PostSubject: Re: West Wycombe, The Hellfire Caves   Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:51 pm

Yeah, loved it del Thumsup

I remember seeing the mausoleum on the way up to you earlier this year.

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theboss
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PostSubject: Re: West Wycombe, The Hellfire Caves   Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:28 am

Rep for you . . .

I could see lots and lots of faces in the chalk (not the obvious ones:lol!: )

I have one of those arms that was on the floor . . it gets brought out at Halloween to keep the local kids at bay . .

bit of a contrast between the blue skies at the mausaleum and the grey skies over west wycombe
How strange to get















no pics of the food Very Happy
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delboy
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PostSubject: Re: West Wycombe, The Hellfire Caves   Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:57 am

I thought about that Boss but at the time, the Landlord had a man equivalent of Alex Polizzi in, doing a sort of advice survey. He was saying the bar was too dark and you need to arrange the spirits in order on the shelves affraid

The grey skies hovered over the village perhaps we were being followed affraid
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delboy
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PostSubject: Re: West Wycombe, The Hellfire Caves   Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:03 am

I started off from Stoke Mandleville in the torch relay but got a bit lost scratch

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