Ever Hear of a Priest Hole?

This post on a blog called Last Welsh Martyr peaked my interest. I had never heard of these so called “Priest holes” before, but they sounded interesting. I think you will find this to be interesting and valuable information as well.

“In England during Penal Times, because of the importance of the Mass, the necessity of the priesthood to the Catholic Faith was recognized by both the Church and by its enemies in Parliament. As one writer put it: “If the ‘head’ of priesthood could be severed, then the ‘body’ of Catholicism would die.”

As we know, the penalties for priesthood were severe. The Church, therefore, sought to offset government actions by establishing seminaries abroad and by developing a covert network of clergy to meet the needs of those who clung to ‘yr hen ffydd’ (the old faith). Priest Hides’ or ‘Priest Holes’ became a necessary feature in the continuance of the work of priests.” – “Priest Holes”

Isn’t is absolutely ridiculous that many churches and monasteries all over England were built with tiny holes in their foundation for priests to hide in? As crazy as it seems, it is true none the less. The funny thing is that since they were so well hidden, some of these small hiding spots have not been found until recent times. More get discovered as time goes on, and there are surely still undiscovered priest holes all over England right now! The carpenters that built these priest holes would work in the dead of night and with no help to avoid their intentions of being discovered. If they were caught they would be tortured and beaten to death just as the priests who were also disliked during this time. They risked a lot by making these hiding spaces to keep priests safe, and I felt that this fact should be shared with everybody.