Historic find in cellar of Chichester shop

The owner of a Chichester shop has said she was 'amazed' after an historic find in the cellar of the building.

Tuesday, 20th October 2020, 5:16 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st October 2020, 10:26 am
Koo Popple with the oven

Koo Popple owns the building of the former Thomas Cook shop in East Street and after working to clear the travelagents she came across the antiquarian curiosity: a Victorian era coal oven.

Named the 'Belle Portable', the oven was patented in 1894 and now sits under the floorboards of the shop.

Koo, who lives in Hemel Hempsted, said she was 'amazed' at the find so shared it on social media.

Part of the cellar which could link with the Chichester tunnels

She said: "Oh I was so excited. It had taken a lot of work to clear the building but when we found this it made it all worth while. Until I started coming here I knew nothing of the area and it's not until we've kept coming and talking to locals — there's something about Chichester I've really warmed to."

Helpful Cicestrians showed Koo their interest on Facebook and the oven was even bought to the attention of a local restoration company.

There is also a belief that the cellar leads to the legendary Chichester tunnels, leading out from under the cathedral to various parts of the city, but this remains unconfirmed.

Another mystery facing Koo is the ghostly goings on across the four floors after she said she felt a presence and saw a woman wearing a servants hat and outfit.

The oven