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Palace House Blog - September 2018

Hidden under the floorboards of a property on the Beaulieu Estate, workers found a solitary old boot.... but does this humble item hide supernatural secrets?


Beneath the floorboards of an old Beaulieu Estate property, lying undiscovered in the darkness, a solitary boot was found during recent building works. First thoughts were that one of the original builders may have simply lost a shoe, but after further investigation it seems there is more to this boot than meets the eye.

Boot found under the floorboards of a Beaulieu Estate property Does this worn boot offer supernatural protection?

Concealed items were purposely left under the floorboards, behind fireplaces, under windows and in chimneys to ward off evil spirits, or to bring good luck and fertility to the occupants. This particular boot was discovered under the original entrance to the building, which would suggest this was placed to prevent evil crossing the threshold. The boot has been well-worn and is known as a ‘hobnail boot’, though the debate is still on-going as to whether it is a male or female boot?

There is much superstition surrounding shoes as they are the only garment that takes on the form of the wearer, thus the wearer imprints something of themselves onto that shoe. A lady wishing to start a family may have worn the shoes of a lady who had recently given birth, believing this would aid her chances of conceiving. Shoe were also thought to have the power to trap evil spirits that are disturbing the property.

For more information you can visit the Northampton museum website, as the museum keeps an index of concealed shoes and items that are discovered.

Boot found under the floorboards of a Beaulieu Estate property A hobnail boot... but is it male or female?


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