He might be half-starved, cramped, sore with prolonged confinement, and almost afraid to breathe lest the least sound should throw suspicion upon the particular spot where he was immured.Sometimes a priest could die from starvation or by lack of oxygen.
Many great houses had a priest hole built so that the presence of a priest could be concealed when searches were made of the building.
They were cleverly concealed in walls, under floors, behind wainscoting and other locations and were often successful in concealing their occupant.
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All those who refused to take the Oath of Supremacy were called "recusants" and were guilty of high treason.
A law was also enacted which provided that if any "papist" should be found converting an Anglican, or other Protestant, to Catholicism, both would suffer death for high treason.A priest hole is the term given to a hiding place for a priest built into many of the principal Catholic houses of England during the period when Catholics were persecuted by law in England.When Queen Elizabeth I came to the throne in 1558, there were several Catholic plots designed to remove her and severe measures were taken against Catholic priests."Priest hunters" were tasked to collect information and locate any priests.An Act was passed prohibiting a member of the Roman Catholic Church from celebrating the rites of his faith on pain of forfeiture for the first offence, a year's imprisonment for the second, and imprisonment for life for the third.Set amongst the backdrop of the River Wyre, which runs beside historic Mains Hall, this exquisite Great Hall boasts huge timber framed ceilings, a magnificent stone fireplace of grand proportion, sumptuously rich tapestries and huge medieval ironwork chandeliers.