Grandad discovers 17ft medieval well in the middle of his living room
It’s rarely a good thing if you find a hole in the floor of your home, but for one 70-year-old, his discovery has opened up a world of opportunities.
Grandad Colin Steer has spent the last decade digging out a 17ft deep medieval well in his living room after noticing a slight dip in the floor when redecorating.
Colin, from Plymouth, found the well ten years ago, and believes it could date back to medieval times after discovering an old sword while digging, and finding plans of the site that suggest the structure could have been built in the 1500s.
‘I found what seemed to be a leather casing of a sword when I was about 5ft into the dig which leads me to believe that the well could be medieval,’ says Colin.
‘However it could date back to even earlier than that because we have no real way of accurately dating it at the moment.’
After noticing the depression on his floor, the 70-year-old says that his first thought was that someone had buried a dead body under their floor because they didn’t live in a mining district.
Colin’s house was built around 1895 and he moved in in 1988. He never expected that there would be something so interesting hidden beneath his living room.
‘The hole is currently 17ft deep and there is about another four or five-foot that I want to dig out when I eventually get round to it,’ he says.
‘At the bottom of the well there is about 4ft of water, so everything that I dig out now will be wet and mucky stuff. I don’t think my wife, Vanessa, would be too keen if I got that all over our front room. Although she does find the whole thing very interesting too.’
Colin admits that when he eventually reaches the bottom of the well he would love to extend it out of the ground and turn it into a coffee table.
‘I think it would be a great feature for our front room,’ he says.
‘We still aren’t really sure about why the well is there. We have looked at old maps to try and work out its origin but we have had no luck.
‘But because of the sheer size of it, we have guessed that it could have been used for feeding animals or for two to three families.
‘Since I began digging out the well I have found a coin from 1725.
‘But that could mean a number of things as it could have been dropped down there at any time. It doesn’t necessarily mean that’s when the well was constructed.’
The 17ft hole in the couple’s living room is currently covered over by a sheet of Perspex and a trap door so that it is safe.
Colin and Vanessa have grandchildren who love to look down the hole through the sheet of Perspex and they are very intrigued by the unique feature in their grandparent’s home.
Colin says that he is glad that he discovered the well as it is a good talking point and he has even been know as ‘the man with the well’ in his local area.
‘It is a good thing to show off to people as it is not something that you see every day,’ says Colin.
‘I have actually even tried some of the water that is at the bottom of the well. It was really clear and tasted fine to me.
‘I am going to get it tested for bacteria and if everything came back good then I could even bottle it up and sell it.’
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