Great Loft Hide

The Great Loft Hide - Harvington Hall

A false fireplace in the Marble Room led into the attic and allowed a priest to rapidly leave his room even if all the entrances were guarded. Considerable attention was spent on the details including bricks that had been blackened by fire.  The false fireplace in the Marble Room led to two hides in the attics (Open to the public on special occasions).

From the attic the priest could listen to the search taking place in his room. If it seemed as if they had confirmed that it had been in use he could go further into the attic or use another exit to escape to another part of the house.

The main attic hide is the largest at the Hall and the second largest priest hide ever discovered in England.  Once you enter the attic space you are immediately confronted by a maze of rooms, walls and wooden beams.  Keeping your bearing is a challenge and may have even been designed to disorientate a searcher.  After just a short time it becomes near impossible to pinpoint where you are in relation to the rooms of the house.

The attic hide is believed to be the work of Nicholas Owen, the master builder of such places who was adept at creating false hides as well as real ones just for the purpose of throwing hunters off the trail.