Archive and Special Collections | Blog

Lurking in the underworld

Damp steps lead down to the door of the cellar, a few feet in and a damp warm breath hits you, perhaps the underworld of Orcus or Proserpina. This is my visit to the cellars beneath The Grange looking at the foundations and clues to its origin.

A flickering shadow out of the corner of my eye. Perhaps I’ve disturbed the bones of Kirkstall monks lying not too far below or the ‘famous’ ghostly butler who allegedly leapt to his death in a fit of passion. More likely Walter Wade, who had the present Mansion built in 1752 or William Beckett looking over his fine wine collection in 1834 or even Gervase Beckett lamenting the fact his overbearing brother Ernest sold the family mansion to Leeds Corporation in 1908.

Who knows what lurks in this underworld?

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Dr Keith Rowntree

Keith Rowntree maintains the University's Archive and Special Collections which are currently held at the University’s Library, situated on our Headingley Campus. We collect, describe and preserve material for future generations while seeking to promote knowledge of, and access to this rich heritage for educational, professional and research purposes.

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