I'm trying to identify a novel for young adults about travelling through time using a maze of time tunnels. I borrowed it from the Town Library in the early 1970's, so it may have been written during the late 50's or early 60's.

I think it's set in the North of England, possibly Newcastle. Two teenage lads fall through undergrowth into a large chamber. They can't climb out, and the only way is to walk through a tunnel at one end. It becomes a maze of tunnels with glowing walls, and when they reach the opening at the far end, they have travelled back to pre-history.

They walk back through the maze, and then through again, and come out at a different time. They repeat this exercise, and find that taking a different combination of left and right turns takes them to a different destination time.

I believe that, at one point, they were at 5,000 BC, and rescue a girl from being sacrificed.

Their final journey through is to take a lot of right hand turnings, so that they end up a long way in the future. The exit of the tunnel is manned, and the attendant tells them that "The last person to come through was a Roman soldier". They are then anathematized, and sent back to their own time.

Two years on, and there has been a power station built over the chamber, with the chamber itself housing the reactor.

If anyone can identify this book, I would be very grateful. I can then also buy a copy through Abebooks!

  • 4
    You get a point just for using the word "anathematized". – Invisible Trihedron Oct 20 at 3:03
  • 3
    "anathematized" = "anaesthetised" ? – John Rennie Oct 20 at 4:52
  • It was nearly 1 o'clock in the morning, and I couldn't remember how to spell "anaesthetised". So I left it to auto-correct! – Paul Horner Oct 20 at 7:41
  • Not quite the same meaning, though! – jcaron Oct 20 at 12:24
  • 1
    Came here to suggest the netflix show "Dark" only to find that apparently it's not the only thing that fits this description. – bendl Oct 20 at 12:48

I believe this could be "The Time Maze" by Reginald Maddock, published in 1960. Online information about this book seems really scanty - the Goodreads page, for example, is disappointingly brief - so what I am writing is from memory, and may not be 100% accurate.

The story deals with two boys who fall into a cavern while exploring the woods near their home. The cavern leads into a maze, and by traversing the maze they can emerge at various points in history. I believe they go to the age of dinosaurs, to the neolithic era where they meet some cavemen, and eventually to the future. There they find a guardian-type figure, who prevents them entering (possibly by putting them to sleep - I don't recall).

I have not been able to find a good online summary of the book, but possibly the cover might jog the OP's memory.

enter image description here

| improve this answer | |
  • Thank you, Clara Diaz Sanchez!! I believe that you have answered my question - and within a few hours! Currently, there are no copies on Abebooks, but at least I now know what I'm looking for. Thank you once again. – Paul Horner Oct 20 at 7:51
  • Glad to help @paul-horner. Maybe if you read it, you can post a fuller summary somewhere - the internet lacks one at the moment! – Clara Diaz Sanchez Oct 20 at 9:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.