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Tuesday, 13 August, 2002, 09:07 GMT 10:07 UK
Rabbits unearth historic find
Dr Paul Stamper
Dr Paul Stamper with one of the rabbits' finds
Heritage experts say burrowing rabbits have helped them dig up an important find.

The animals have unearthed the remains of a rare glass window which once adorned a 14th Century manor house at a secret location in Warwickshire.

The rabbits burrowed into what appeared to be a grass covered hump and uncovered a quanity of medieval glass.

Conservation experts are now attempting to preserve the glass before it deteriorates after being exposed to air.

Rabbits' warren

English Heritage's ancient monuments inspector for the West Midlands, Dr Paul Stamper, said the creatures had burrowed into the base of the moated house.

"Normally windows would have been removed and used elsewhere but in this case it looks as though the window was simply left on the site and became incorporated into the rabbits' warren," he said.

"Over the years, as the rabbits have done their own home improvement work, the glass, shards of pottery and fragments of animal bone have been kicked out of their burrow."

The 14th Century moated manor house was flattened in the 15th Century when the family built a bigger home nearby and found the original house spoiled their view.

Different patterns

Tests are now being conducted on the glass to reveal its manufacturing process and then experts may be able to get an idea of the pictures painted on the window.

"So far we can only make out scriptwork and different patterns," Dr Stamper continued.

"We have to act fast because once the glass is exposed to the air it soon begins to deteriorate.

"It is a race against time to preserve it before the beautiful designs are lost forever."


Click here to go to BBC Coventry and Warwickshire
See also:

24 Jul 02 | England
29 Mar 02 | Science/Nature
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