Stories about objects – things that are hidden
When we were treated to a tour of the castle by House Steward, Will, he told us about many of the interesting legends and anecdotes surrounding some of the objects of Powis, including the story of the animal bone found in a 17th-century cabinet in the castle. The bone which was found just a few years’ ago, is said to predate the cabinet in which it had been hidden. A folklore expert who commented on this find at the time said hiding animal bones and shoes was used as a way of warding off evil spirits or bringing luck to a house.
This wasn’t the first concealed object that had ever been discovered at Powis Castle. In the 1900s an Elizabethan shoe was found under some floorboards (and is still there on display today). At the time of its finding, the family left instructions that it should never leave the house, so it has remained in the castle since its discovery.
Apparently even cats were possibly put into walls to ward off vermin or served as a good luck charm. Cats do like getting themselves trapped behind walls, perhaps in search of vermin rather than consciously trying to bring luck.
The most amazing hidden object story I’ve heard abut so far on my visits to Powis came from one of the book cleaning volunteers. She told me of how they once found a rasher of bacon in a book, perhaps being used as a book mark. I’m sure the user of this particular book mark forgot that in his or her haste to mark their page did not consider that it would be forgotten only later to be discovered and discussed.