Patio plans lead to a rare find

A CAFÉ owner in Clare who engaged a builder to give his garden a make-over got more than he bargained for when he discovered a 20ft deep Medieval well under his lawn.

The well was unearthed when Mr Palmer, owner of the Number One Delicatessen and Cafè, in High Street, hired local builder Warren Rodwell to lay a new patio.

Mr Palmer, who has lived in the property for four years with his wife and three children, said: “He was digging and suddenly they found a bloody great well.

“It was like a dome originally and when the bricks were knocked off there was quite a bit of water.

“It was very surprising and we were originally thinking of filling it in, but it would cost a good thousand pounds to fill. From an historical point of view that would not be an option.”

Experts from Suffolk County Council’s Archeological Services visited and dated the well back to the 13th century, telling Mr Palmer they know of only one other well of a similar age in Suffolk - in Lavenham.

The well has now had its walls rebuilt above ground level, and Mr Palmer plans to make more of a feature of it, putting in some lights and covering it with a grill.