A couple have issued their shock after discovering more than 700 bottles thought to date back to the 1800s buried in their back garden.
Mark and Lyn Austin, of Heath Road, Leighton Buzzard made the find as they prepared to lay a new patio in their back garden– land which backs onto the historic White House.
After knocking down a 100-year-old wooden hut and prying up the base, workmen found it was hollow and after breaking through the concrete dozens of glass bottles were found, placed upside down in circles.
More than 700 jars were found in total – with the couple managing to keep 500 intact.
Labels indicate that the jars date back to the 1800s with most being used to hold blacking ink, while the rest are believed to be Doulton bottles which contained ginger beer.
Of the surprise discovery, Mark told the LBO: “It was like an episode of Time Team, we were not expecting anything like this at all. We found around 100 at first but more kept coming up, we’ve got more than 500 stacked behind the shed at the moment.
“It appears they have got no great monetry value but it was a really interesting find, we are thinking about using them in some way with the new patio.
Pauline Hey, of the Leighton Buzzard Archeology & Historical Society, visited the site but was unable to shed any light on the discovery at the moment. She said: “We do not yet have an explanation, we have several ideas in circulation, but as they are mere speculation so far .”
The society says it will conduct further investigations
Sue James, of the Leighton Buzzard Society, said: “I spoke to a bottle collector at a fair at the weekend. It was quite common in Victorian times to use bottles to level flooring.”