Found on buying in France

I’ve just been to see a friends house in a nearby village which he purchased from a very old French couple. During the sale several items were noticed, one of which was a Nazi bicycle and helmet!

Given the “collective” nature of the locals, the same in most parts of the world, what interesting and bizarre items have SFN readers come across after buying the house?

I’ll start the ball rolling with a Panzer tank found by a couple in Normandy when the husband took a wall down which he felt was in the wrong place!

And the same to you David. Let’s hope it’s another good one.

Happy New Year Martin.

But beautifully preserved I’m sure:)

We found an old knarled matelot down a well.

At the time we viewed the house we intended to buy, the attics and haylofts were filled with hay and all sorts of rubbish. We of course wanted them emptied before signing a contract. The seller though didn't seem to be too willing to do the work, as it was early summer, and haylofts are dusty places. He said that it was nothing, and if we put in some effort everything would be burnt in a good morning / afternoon.

As I said it was early summer and haylofts being dusty and all I wasn't too keen on doing the work myself.

In a last attempt I said to him that if we did the work anything, including all the "Louis d'Or"s and other treasures we would find would be ours.

When we passed two days later there was a smoldering patch in the middle of the lawn where he had burnt all the stuff.

We had empty, more or less clean attics, but we never knew whether there was a treasure hidden up there.

I'm quietly shrieking after reading that, Brian.

I haven't any hidden spaces large enough to be concealing a Panzer tank (what a find!) but I do wonder if anything's been secreted in our attic. It looks as though a staircase was removed leading up from one of the bedrooms, suggesting that it was once freely accessible and perhaps the crown jewels are hiding behind a brick up there. I think that part of the house only dates from about 1900 though so nothing extraordinarily old.

We found a 'mummified' goat hanging in a bricked up part of the cellar, plus an old metal box buried in there containing books with pictures of part and unclad women dated around 1880-85. We got €300 for the books from a specialist dealer, they were probably worth more. The goat went into our fire pit and was 'cremated' - probably on the way to a century and half after it was meant to be cooked. Back then everything here around was owned by a family named Delors with one branch of the family here. Was the ancestor of Jacques a devil worshipping pornographer? ;-)