In which we discover mortar shot holes in our living room wall which used to be part of the medieval town wall…
Our one month renovation anniversary was rewarded by the most curious discovery: musket shot holes!
This was hiding beneath over a century of wallpaper and cement! The holes were filled with the cement so we’re assuming a previous resident found the musket balls…
Sean has been painstakingly removing the old cement and wallpaper to expose the gorgeous old sandstone walls beneath – little did we know how old they are or that this particular wall was once an exterior wall – part of the village defensive wall, we believe.
This stands to reason since the stone moat tower that our house was built around (c.1300-1400) stands just two meters from the wall where the musket holes are. If a village is going to have artillery holes, they’re probably going to be in the defensive town wall, right?
Someone told us that musket shot holes are neither this intact nor so perfectly circular – that they would be much more eroded, or shattered. But we think it’s thanks to the fact that the holes have been protected beneath layers of cement for so long, and not exposed to the elements. And sandstone doesn’t really shatter, it’s too soft.
Here’s a typical example from an exterior church wall that’s been eroded. The holes are nearly perfectly circular despite centuries of rain, snow, etc:
We can’t wait to ask the village historian a methionine mysterious wall! Our neighbors probably have the same holes in their walls…and here we are feeling all special like we’ve discovered the arc of the covenant or something.
Here’s Sean smoothing the surface :
We’ll ask the historian to lie to us and tell us a wonderful story so we can keep feeling special.
Actually, when we met with him at the town hall a month ago, right before we moved in, we asked about the history of our house and I said, “please make it a fantastical story even if you have to lie.” I don’t think he heard me – or maybe he didn’t understand my awful French – but serendipitously he went on to tell us about the medieval moat tower in our living room!!
So somehow we knew our house was special from the get go. And no one even had to lie about it.