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Incredible 184-year-old discovery in old Aussie restaurant

Sydney woman Terissa Perego was 'surprised and excited' by the unexpected find.

The owners of an Aussie restaurant were left astonished after uncovering an unbelievable 184-year-old secret concealed beneath the floorboards.

Terissa Perego who owns the I Sapori restaurant located in the historic town of Windsor in Sydney’s historic Hawkesbury region in the city's northwest, says she was “shocked” after unearthing several pairs of almost 200-year-old boots beneath the restaurant floor.

The shoes are remarkably still intact, although they are just holding together. But mystery surrounds why the shoes were put there in the first place.

“I came across the boots as we were doing some new plumbing and electrical work and needed to get under the floor in the front room,” she told Yahoo News Australia.

“We were so surprised and excited to find them. I love the history of the building and this was its true treasure.”

184 year old shoes found under Windsor restaurant.
The incredible historic find left the new owners astonished. Source: Facebook

Series of 'secret quirks' uncovered during renovations

The family took over the historic building on Baker Street recently with plans to open the doors to their traditional Italian restaurant in April. But since beginning renovations they've found a few other secret quirks in the old building including a hidden window that had been concealed by a door.

Despite the home-turned-restaurant once belonging to a local cobbler, Perego is perplexed as to why they were hidden beneath the floors.

“We haven’t had the boots looked at by a historian yet but assume it’s from when the cobbler was in the building around 1840,” she said. “We were given some cobbler’s tools from the previous owner of the building and we also have some original window weights that we found in a hidden window.”

A wall with a door that has a window that was previously hidden.
The renovations also revealed an old hidden window within the walls from the original building. Source: Facebook

It appears the discovery came at the right time too. Despite being hidden for decades and concealed in a damp area, the shoes are still holding together, but only just.

“They had started to fall apart as it was so damp under the floor from previous water leaking,” she explained.

“That’s why we bought them up from where they were placed. I have been told by many locals that boots were put under the floor as good luck. I would have left them there but they wouldn’t have lasted much longer.”

Locals impressed by 'amazing' find

Sharing the find on a local community Facebook page, several locals were impressed with the historic discovery.

“What a find! I definitely want to see them up close and personal,” one person commented,

“Wow - just wow!” Another local said, with a third saying “This is amazing. So glad you’re preserving them.”

While the house did belong to an old cobbler, others suggested that there were other reasons the shoes were found hidden under the floorboards.

Exterior of house where I Sapori resides on Barker street in Windsor.
The historic building was once home to a cobbler in the 1840s, today it's being renovated as a restaurant. Source: Facebook

“In old houses and buildings, the shoes were either put under the floor or on the ceiling to keep bad spirits away I have old Chilean shoes up on my roof the electrician saw them when he was rewiring and I looked it up and that's what it said my house is well over 100 years old,” one local resident shared.

“Great find, I’m in a group for people from all over the world restoring old houses. Shoes are a very common find, especially children’s shoes,” another said.

Boots likely to be 'ritual objects'

Hawkesbury Regional Museum Curator, Rebecca Turnbull, confirmed that the shoes in the Victorian merchant’s cottage are likely to be "ritual objects" common in that era.

"They were placed there to ward off evil spirits and witches. People in the Victorian era were highly superstitious people!" she told Yahoo.

"Typical locations they were found in were inside the chimney structure, hearth or in other sealed voids within the building. In many cases, however, only a single shoe is found." Perego and her family now plan on displaying the historic boots in a glass cabinet for everyone to appreciate.

“The boots, cobbler tools and window weights are now displayed in the building near the front door. They are dry and safe and will be loved and admired by everyone who comes to dine with us,” she said.

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