The Oubilette

One of the more interesting features of the house we've discovered is the room I like to call the oubliette.

It's a space we found only by chance when an old victorian wooden support began to show signs of rot and we decided to replace it with steel. We uncovered a bricked up entrance to what we initially thought was a storage area. However it makes no sense for the only entry to this room be from a tiny doorway above when there are far more convenient places to put a doorway in the cellar. It's about 6 feet down to floor level from this hatch and the space extends under the floor to both sides of the entrance. It's also been plastered on the inside. You can see the remains of the plaster in pic 6. All the other walls in the cellar were whitewashed, not plastered.

Could this room have been a prison cell? Why would it be in the house? What else could it have been used for?

The back of the oubilette. As you can see there doesn't appear to be any doorways to enter the space in the two areas that it would have been sensible to put a door. There is however a line of odd bricks as if there was a slot at one point.

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