Builders' find paints picture of Victorians' racy lifestyle

BUILDERS working on the show home at the Pecket Well Mill complex, above Hebden Bridge, have unearthed some fascinating items dating back to the mid 1800's.

The items included two antique novels,a bottle of Halifax Pale Ale and a half smoked cigar.

The books are racy Victorian novels about the highlife and lowlife of Victorian London - “Anonyma: a tale of Female Life and Adventure” and “Skittles” .

The beer bottle is labelled Bass & Co’s Pale ale, bottled by Marshall Bros., 4, Windings Road, Halifax.

Experts at Bankfield Museum, Halifax say the nature of the items found suggest that they may have been a ‘stash’ belonging to a young Victorian.

The location where the items were found, however, lend an extra air of mystery. The stash was stored securely inside one of the walls of the mill complex, which would have made retrieval very difficult.

Mango Homes, the local development company who owns the site, has offered the items to Bankfield Museum for public display.

The Pecket Well Mill complex is being converted by Mango into a range of houses and apartments and the show home will be opening at the beginning of September.

Commenting on the find, Phil Bradby of Mango Homes said “It’s amazing to come across such an odd collection of items.

“The combination of beer, cigars and these books would have made for quite an interesting evening up at Pecket Well Mill.

“We are considering hiding 10 cigarettes, a bottle of Bacardi Breezer and a copy of Heat magazine somewhere on site for future generations to discover.”

Further information on Pecket Well Mill is available by calling 01422 845615 or by visiting