Inventor’s House Had Tunnel to Escape Luddites who Smashed His Invention


HeathcoteBoltHole.jpg    "The bolt hole was designed to hide from angry textile workers."  Source of caption and photo:  the BBC article quoted and cited below, and viewable at


A series of secret rooms and a tunnel have been discovered under a building in Loughborough. The secret living quarters belonged to John Heathcote, a man who invited the fury of the Luddites after inventing a lace-making machine in the early 1800s.

 . . .

Keeper of Charnwood Museum Susan Cooke added: "We don’t know if (John Heathcote) did actually hide down there because he fled Loughborough and went to Devon."

 . . .

Activists smashed Heathcote’s lacemaking machine in Loughborough in 1816.


For the full story, see:

"Workmen discover secret chambers."  BBC News online. Last updated: Tuesday, 15 August 2006.

(Note:  ellipses added.)


(Note: Wikipedia spells the name as “Heathcoat.”)

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