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Passages to feature on popular railway journeys TV show

Published: 3 April 2024

Passages to feature on popular railway journeys TV show Michael Portillo

Exeter’s unique Underground Passages will feature on the BBC’s Great Coastal Railway Journeys next Tuesday (9 April).

The episode – which airs on BBC Two at 6.30pm – will see presenter Michael Portillo descending five metres below street level to explore the 425-metre network known as the Underground Passages.

Originally designed to transport clean drinking water from natural springs into the heart of the city, the vaulted tunnels today help bring history to life.

Stretching beneath Exeter High Street, the labyrinth of passages echo stories of wars, sieges, and pestilence over the centuries, holding visitors captive with their raw and profound history.

Whilst in Exeter, Michael also meets up with stonemasons at the Cathedral, who are charged with conserving the intricate medieval Beer stonework that attract hundreds of thousands of tourists every year.

He also inspects one of the oldest surviving anthologies of English poetry in the world, the Exeter Book, written around 1,000 years ago and housed today in the Cathedral Library. From Exeter Michael journeys on to Plymouth for the last stop on this leg.

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