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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 October, 2004, 09:53 GMT 10:53 UK
Builder's time capsule uncovered
Sheldonian Theatre
The Sheldonian Theatre was built between 1664 and 1668
Workers refurbishing a 17th Century theatre have stumbled on a time capsule left by a Victorian builder.

The metal container was discovered tucked behind a ceiling panel at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford.

It contained a pair of trousers and a hand-written note dated 6 March 1901 written by one of the last team of workers to revamp the building.

In the letter, builder Frank Morrill gives instructions to whoever finds the "treasure" to give it to a museum.

Hope you enjoy yourself when you have found this valuable treasure. I expect I will have fed the worms by that time, however I will have a good time before I do so.
Builder Frank Morrill
A collection of tools, including a bradawl, were also included in the capsule.

"The trousers are quite holey, it looks like the moths have been at them," said an Oxford University spokeswoman.

"The builders found it earlier this week and handed it in."

The letter inside the capsule, which was written in pencil, reads:

"Sheldonian Theatre, March 6 1901, Dear Friend,

"When you have inspected these trousers please hand them over to the curator of the Taylor Buildings for the Museum as they were worn by Frank Morrill, Chief Assistant to John C Nairn and Son, who restored the ceiling of the building.

"Hope you enjoy yourself when you have found this valuable treasure. I expect I will have fed the worms by that time, however I will have a good time before I do so.

"Goodbye old chap goodbye

"Yours in ashes (?) Frank Morrill"

A spokesman said the trousers would be offered to a local museum as Mr Morrill instructed.

The 17th Century theatre is currently closed to the public while specialists carry out structural repairs to the ceiling cornice.

It is due to reopen by the beginning of December.




SEE ALSO:
Hard seating upset arts lovers
23 Oct 03  |  Entertainment


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