A Hollybush Legend. There is a story that there is an underground tunnel between Hollybush and Kirkstall Abbey. In the mid1990s a volunteer, Bob Broadhurst, told me that he’d heard it from a man who married the daughter of the family who used to live in the house. The man said he’d been taken to the tunnel entrance and there was a old stone table that had been used by the monks.
This sounds like the huge stone table in the food store that was used to keep food cool. So someone might have been pulling his leg. There are underground spaces below the house – the deep cellar, and possibly storage spaces under the front garden,now blocked off. However the presence of a physical tunnel running under the river and as far as the abbey is extremely unlikely.
I prefer the the explanation that a legend of a tunnel refers to energy lines linking places of spiritual significance as some dowsers and earth energies researchers believe. Hollybush could easily be holy-bush, and the medieval pilgrimage route to the abbey passed close by, as evidenced in the name Amen Corner a few hundred yards away. Speaking personally, I’ve always felt Hollybush is a very special place. Plants grow amazingly well here. People flourish too. Lots of people all with their own personal issues, and sometimes problems, come together here. They flourish and find some sort of community that is often lacking for us in the outside world.