Secret Places

Secret Places and a hidden WW2 bunker

Many of you will already know Thrussendale Farm as the home of The Private Hill and its Luxury Glamping Domes, the wonderful wildlife, and of course the superb Jane's Dome bar and restaurant.

What you probably didn’t know is that the farm is also home to another secret place. Hidden away underground is an old World War 2 bunker which was built as the secret location for an ‘auxiliary unit’, set up in 1940 as bases from which to resist invasion.

The history of the auxiliary units is fascinating enough, but in the case of this one it provided the inspiration for a crime novel published in February this year. Written by a former resident of Acklam, Secret Places begins with a flashback to the construction of the secret base, then moves forward to 2015 and the discovery of a skeleton.

As the author Heather Peck says, ‘the auxiliary unit is real. When we first discovered what it was, we even found a few old ceramic insulators in the hedge that had been used to carry the radio aerial up the hill. Everything else about Tristan’s Coombe Farm is, however, straight out of my imagination! And so are all the characters.’

Secret Places is the first in the DI Greg Geldard series. The sequel, Glass Arrows, is to be published in the next few days.

Images of inside the actual bunker.

(copyright - Roddy Hamilton)

The auxiliary units were constructed in 1940 and equipped as described in Secret Places. For further information see Parham Airfield Museum, Suffolk

Secret Places was published in Feb 2021 by Silverwood Books and is available from them, all main bookshops, and Amazon as a paperback or ebook. Paperbacks are also available from Jane's Dome at The Private Hill.

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Introduction to Secret Places

Bored with stolen quad bikes and sheep rustling in the Yorkshire Dales, DI Greg Geldard is hoping for a more interesting day. He gets more than he bargained for.

Tristan Smith is minding her own business and her goats, when a chance visit by archaeologists exposes a skeleton in a secret World War 2 bunker. Greg and his team try to work out what went wrong at the farmhouse and whose is the skeleton in the bunker. As events unfold in North Yorkshire, we follow Rachel Wade and her rescue dog, Brizo, to Norfolk and a new life on the Broads. But what is she hiding? And is history about to repeat itself?

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