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Mummified remains found by builders in North Yorkshire
10:24am Thursday 3rd May 2012 in Harrogate and Ripon news
Builders in Knaresborough were shocked to find mummified remains in a wall on the first day of a new project.
Barely an hour into the job, at 25 Castlegate, the builders uncovered the mummified remains of a cat in a purpose-built tomb next to a fireplace that had been hidden for hundreds of years.
The builders had just started a major refurbishment to transform the premises into Becket’s Restaurant & Grill due, for completion in mid-June.
Steve Patton, co-owner of the new business, was aware of the 400-year-old custom of placing the bodies of stuffed cats behind brickwork to ward off evil spirits.
Steve said they considered putting the cat back in the wall but because the works weren’t going to be finished for seven to eight weeks they decided to give it a decent burial nearby.
He said: “It was a very interesting find and just shows the vast history of the building and of Knareborough.”
The building has a lengthy history dating back to as early as 1450 when it was part of a large home and is later listed in the early 1600’s as a charity hospital for the poor.
There have been a number of mummified cats found in walls around Knaresborough, proving that superstition was once very high on the agenda.