The house has revealed many secrets during the restoration works, rather surprising were the number of protective and superstitious elements that came to light.


The Cat

One of the most surprising finds was the mummified cat. The cat was either placed in the house in 1730s when the house was built or in 1830 when the upper floors became more domestic. Interestingly the cat was surrounded by hazel nut shells. Although by no means unique, a cat deliberately concealed, is not common and the reason is probably to protect the building.

The Shoe

This ladies shoe, heavily repaired and probably dating to the late eighteenth century to early nineteenth century, was deliberately placed in a rubble layer on the 3rd floor. It is likely that this is a good luck symbol.

Bones and Glass

This assemblage of bones, bottle and goblet glass came to light during the first phase or restoration. The assemblage, concealed in a cavity within a basement wall, reflects the debris of a builders topping out ceremony.


Since 1726 workmen have inscribe good luck symbols and their names high up on the lead roof of York Mansion House as well as walls throughout the building... this tradition may have continued during our recent restoration.