The Rise and the Chimney


The Rise

To the right of the entrance to the area by the underground water course – the River Styx as Doc Paget called it – is an entrance that was, in Doc Paget’s day, completely filled with soil and impassable. Above the start of the Styx was the Roman tile set in the roof, which Keith Jones dislodged.

Having wondered how to progress any further and taken flash photographs to analyse back at his home in Bacoli, Doc Paget described his progress thus: "…we saw on one of the photographs a tile in the roof over the water. We pushed this to one side and Jones climbed through, to find himself at the bottom of a steeply sloping passage…"

Robert Temple at the entrance to the Rise, cleared of soil by Paget and Jones enough to climb up to the Sanctuary.

The start of the Rise. The lamp niches continue in the walls.

At one point Doc Paget cleared enough soil in the Rise to find that there are steps. The height of the Rise was originally about 2 metres (6 ½ feet).

The Rise goes around three sides of a square to a point where a chimney-like feature sits above the underground water course.

Left: looking down at the start of the rise.

The Chimney

The Chimney is a brick-lined feature. It had been closed off with a large tile and Keith Jones climbed up here.

By shovelling soil down into the Styx, Doc Paget and Keith Jones cleared the dog-leg and scraped enough of the earth-fill in the Rise down through the tile hole, which accounts for the large quantity of loose material existing down there today.

This enabled them to confirm that the Rise was a stair leading up to a chamber.

Left: looking down the Chimney.

Michael Baigent at the start of the underground river. Picture taken from the top of the Chimney by Robert Temple, from his book ‘Netherworld’.

Left: above the start of the underground water course we can see the square shaft of the Chimney.
Right: ascending the Rise we can clearly see evidence of some kind of door frame here.

The Rise contains a large quantity of loose soil and is hazardous to climb.

Where am I?

You are at the River Styx and about to ascend the Rise.

Soil in S120 tunnel

The Sanctuary

Our extraordinary journey into the underworld continues with an exploration of the sanctuary.

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