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Thursday, 31 October, 2002, 07:22 GMT
House includes mummified cats
Homeowner dusting mummified cat
The owner plans to leave her 'friends' behind
A house on offer in Essex comes with some interesting features: fireplaces, a garden, and mummified cats which were found in the walls.

Winter's Armoury is one of the oldest homes in Magdalen Laver, and its unique selling points include its use by Oliver Cromwell during the Civil War.

But it is also home to cats whose skin and bones were preserved by mummification.

The cats were placed in the walls while still alive hundreds of years ago, supposedly to ward off evil spirits.

Winter's Armoury
The house dates from the 13th Century
Previous owners discovered the cats, and current householder Charlotte Bassett has made them a feature.

She told BBC Look East the house was also haunted by the ghost of a murdered cavalier, who wanders noisily up and down the corridor.

"But in general, he's no trouble, and we're quite glad to have him," she said.

It is unclear whether potential homebuyers will appreciate the house's unique attributes.

But estate agent Peter Amos, said: "I think people look for character and that sense of being part of time."


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05 Nov 02 | England
20 Mar 00 | UK
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