Colin Steer has excavated a 16th Century well that lies beneath his living room. (SWNS)
Steer and wife Vanessa have known for a while there was a well under the room, but only recently did he dig it out. (SWNS)
The well is 25 feet deep and was built by Sir Francis Drake in Shakespeare's time. (SWNS)
While unearthing the well, Steer discovered an old, rusty sword. (SWNS)
From outside their home in Plymouth, Devon, no one would know there is a tunnel to the past inside. (SWNS)
A British couple finally figured out why their living room floor wasn’t level when they took up the floorboards and discovered a 33-foot deep well that historians say dates back to Shakespeare’s day.
Colin Steer had long puzzled over why a section of the floor near his couch seemed to give when someone stepped on it, according to the Telegraph. Several years ago, he did some investigating and found the brick shaft filled in with loose dirt.
“I always wanted to dig it out to see if I could find a pot of gold at the bottom."
- Colin Steer
"I was replacing the joists in the floor when I noticed a slight depression – it appeared to be filled in with the foundations of the house,” Steer, of Plymouth, Devon, told the paper.
But Steer initially only dug about a foot deep into the shaft.
"I dug down about one foot but my wife just wanted to me to cover it back up because we had three children running around at the time,” he said. “I always wanted to dig it out to see if I could find a pot of gold at the bottom, so when I retired at the end of last year that's what I started to do."
Once he retired from his civil service job, he finished the dig and uncovered the ancient well. He also made an exciting discovery – an old rusted sword.
"It was hidden at a 45-degree angle and sort of just fell out. It looks like an old peasant's fighting weapon because it appears to be made up of bits of metal all knocked together," he told the Telegraph.
Steer has since researched the well and discovered it was part of an aqueduct built in the 16th century by Sir Francis Drake to carry water from Dartmoor to Plymouth.
Steer has covered the well with a trapdoor and installed lights in it. He admits he enjoys showing it off.
"I love the well and think it's fascinating,” he said. “I've got a piece of Plymouth's history in my front room."