Well, well, what do we have here?
SOMETIMES the most amazing things turn up during renovations.
For the owners of Walkers Marina Hotel in South Grafton, their remarkable discovery was a seven metre deep well, found under the dining room floorboards.
What made it more remarkable was that one of the walls of the hotel had been built directly over a brick arch used to cover the well.
Stephen Dobbs said he was under the floor checking on some other work when he swung his torch around and discovered the old arch.
He estimated it had been built some time after 1840 in one of the hotel’s previous incarnations.
“This is the third hotel on the site and it was built in 1909,” he said.
He said he believed the well would have still been in use until the wall was built.
There appeared to have been no attempt made to fill in the well before it was built over, and it appeared clear to the bottom. It had water in the bottom about the depth of a bucket, and Mr Dobbs is interested to see if rises in the river affect the level of water in the well.
It had a galvanised iron pipe, about 75mm in diameter, over the top of the well.
According to Mr Dobbs, horse stables had been a feature of the hotel in the past.
He said the well would become a feature of the dining room and he had already covered the hole in the floor with Perspex and installed lighting so patrons could view it.
“We’re going to leave it exactly how we found it,” he said.