When the old fireplace was removed from this 17th century building in Whitby, Yorkshire to convert it to a pie shop, the renovators did not expect to find a vast array of objects that had dropped down the gap between the mantelpiece and the wall.
Some dated back to the ‘fourteenth year of Charles 1’, that is the late 1630s.
As promised, since their discovery, a good selection of these artefacts has been mounted in a glass case and is currently displayed at the Humble Pie ‘n Mash shop at 163 Church Street.
While tucking into a steaming pie, recently, I was delighted to discover something of the building’s history, and learn a little of the secrets the fireplace had withheld for centuries.
The first written deeds state that in 1638 the property was leased by Hugh Chomley – Knight of Whitby to John Sneaton, a shoemaker. Several old buckles, no doubt belonging to the shoemaker, were among the items that had fallen down the gap.
There were also pieces of jewellery, children’s toys, buckles, needles and hand-made nails, rings, bone combs, coins (one dated 1681), a quill pen, buttons, hair pins, pieces of clay pipes, keys, written notes and pencils.
Included in the cache was a cutting from an old issue of the Whitby Gazette reporting a disturbing case of child abuse.
In a recent newspaper interview, the renovator’s mother speculated over the anguish the loss of certain items would have caused and considered the arguments that may have arisen as to where the items might have gone.
There was more to tempt a hungry history-buff in this shop than a just a tasty meat pie .
Pics: MM – May 2015
Shop front – picture provided by management