I worked up quite a sweat breaking through the wall to the priest hole and have discovered a fourteen foot (4.27m) suare room with a strange construction (see below) in the middle of it.
So it looked as though the tales of a priest hole and escape tunnel were a complete fabrication.
At this point I decided to do a little more research into the construction of the house and was lucky enough to come across a pile of papers belonging to Sir Henry Killkaties who built the old place.
The original house was built in 1509 right at the start of the reign of King Henry VIII. A receipt exists for additional building work performed in 1537 shortly after the start of Henry’s priest-killing ways.
Further work was completed in 1553 upon the coronation on Queen Mary, a catholic queen. We can only assume that the priest hole was no longer needed at this point.
So tomorrow we will be investigating the escape tunnel…
for now, here is a rare photograph of King Henry VIII taken with a Nikon D7000. This was of course long before people were in full colour, hence the bizarre painted-on look of the photo.