The hole story – part 2

16Nov09

(…continued)

The burial place of Boudica, Queen of the Iceni, has never been discovered. Very little is known about her after she was deselected by the South Norfolk Conservative association and went on her bloody rampage down the A12 to Londinium.

We can assume that she returned to her home turf up the A10 via Cambridge after burning Verulaminium to the ground and seriously delaying the rebound in Hertfordshire property prices.  She probably avoided the A11 because it was still a single chariotway to Thetford. So her tomb could be anywhere. Waiting to be discovered by the blunt force of the plough, the bleep bleep of the metal detector or the gentle crunch of a family car on the gravel of a domestic driveway.

This thought was foremost in my mind as I lay on the wet stones with my left arm up to the armpit in a narrow, wet and muddy hole, scooping out ooze by the fistful.

With the help of Terry the excellent neighbour and builder I had ruled out drain collapse as the cause of the hole. Terry helpfully pointed out that a collapsed drain invariably leads to blockage and upstream overflow, of which there was no evidence at all. His theory was that a previously hidden cavity had been exposed.

The hole I was blindly exploring was square in cross-section and concrete in construction. The bottom of the narrow pit was smooth and flat. My chilled, gritty fingers could not find any precious artifacts in the darkness. I reached the excited conclusion that I had uncovered a post hole.

This was the sort of hole in which you could place a tall piece of timber, a monument perhaps, above a tomb. Of course Boudica would not have had a cross above her grave in those pre-Christian days after 61 AD. Her monument would have been something more pagan. Something like two fingers raised in defiance at her Roman oppressors.

Like any good historian, I turned to ancient sources to verify my discovery. Unfortunately there are very few historical documents relating to my house. The archives are limited to a pair of ridiculously expensive aerial photographs taken in 1981 and 1968.

I examined the photos meticulously. Scanning the position of the mysterious hole. I didn’t learn much except that in 1968 there was a fence almost exactly over the site of Boudica’s tomb. How fortunate was I that those fence builders had not unearthed the historical wealth of the Iceni heroine?

Setting my documents aside, I pulled on my damp overalls and carefully refilled the hole with rubble. I rammed it down and laboriously covered the spot with fresh gravel, making sure that it would be invisible to a casual visitor. After all Boudica has always been a cult figure. Her final resting place could become a shrine and I don’t want to be overrun with camera wielding tourists. The secret is safe with me.



9 Responses to “The hole story – part 2”

  1. 1 John

    Not wishing to worry you here Alex but remember the double decker bus that disappeared down the hole on Earlham Road that turned out to be an old chalk mine. I understand that initially appeared as a small pothole!!!!

    • Phew – had me worried for a moment John. I thought you were going to say that they had already found Boudica’s tomb and parked a bus in it.

      Meanwhile I will ensure that no one routes a bus down my drive. Thanks. 🙂

  2. 3 Becky Stafford

    I know of someone who has recently explored a chalk mine…chalk mines must be hot topic at the moment 😉

  3. 4 Ben

    I think you are also overlooking the fact that no one has proven the origin of the game of golf and it seems reasonable to assume that the hole was Boudicca’s original 18th with your house on the site of the original 19th (or Mead franchise). This also explains why Boudicca’s last resting place has never been discovered. Presumably her body was spirited away by the marauding Scots, keen to preserve the myth that they invented the game.

    • Ben – you may be on to something. It seems a plausible theory. I predict that the next Dan Brown novel, “Eagles and Bogeys”, will investigate this mystery.

      • 6 Ben

        Dan Brown? – Pah! You should take a break from line management and write it yourself! Serialised in 18 parts.

  4. 7 Derek Wright

    Surely you are missing the obvious answer to this situation – as you said Alex, a post-hole! The post held Boudicca’s washing line securely.

    I’m surprised Mrs R. has not pointed this out to you already.

  5. 8 tank squid

    oh soz that’s where i hid my alcohol stash circa 2003

  6. 9 tank squid

    also lol at related stories ‘Big Ass Holes’ ahaha gutted


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