A MUMMIFIED cat has been found in an Knaresborough property - the second such find in the space of just a few months.
Builders in the town working on a corner property at 25, Castlegate were shocked to find the mummified remains in the wall on their first day of a new project when work got underway recently.
Barely an hour into the job, 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, which were formerly the Italian restaurant Bella Sicilia, into Becket’s Restaurant and Grill.
The find comes just months after the Knaresborough Post reported in January this year that local man, Andrew Hartley had found a near perfect cat skeleton in the roof of an old house he was renovating in nearby York Place.
Steve Patton, co-owner of the new business at Castlegate, was aware of the 400-year-old custom of placing the bodies of stuffed cats behind brickwork to ward off evil spirits.
Steve said that they considered putting the cat back into 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.
“It was a very interesting find and just shows the vast history of the building and of Knareborough,” said Steve.
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 1600s as a Charity Hospital for the poor of the Parish.
With a number of mummified cats found in walls around Knaresborough, Steve added it proved that superstition was once very high on the agenda.
* Becket’s Restaurant will be a contemporary restaurant offering a locally sourced, eclectic and varied menu and is due to open in mid June 2012. For more information click here or go to www.becketsrestaurant.co.uk