an ancient message in a bottle that was discovered under the floorboards.



When a plumber in Edinburgh cut a hole in the floorboards and discovered a bottle with a 135-year-old message inside, he could not believe what he was seeing.

When the 50-year-old Peter Allan opened into the floor exactly where the whisky bottle had been left, he found the Victorian time capsule.

To inform the owner of the property in the Morningside neighbourhood, he hurried downstairs.

Eilidh Stimpson had to break open the bottle in order to read the note, and she said that her two kids were thrilled to discover it.

Mr. Allan told BBC Scotland that cutting through the floor precisely above the bottle was pure serendipity.

The room is 10ft by 15ft and I have cut exactly around the bottle without knowing it was there. I can’t quite believe it,” he said.

“I was moving a radiator and cut a random hole to find pipework and there it was, I don’t know what happened.

“I took it to the woman downstairs and said ‘Look what I’ve found under your floor’.


Mr Allan, owner of WF Wightman Plumbing, said it was discovered under what would have been a maid’s room when the house was first built.

Now mother-of-two Eilidh Stimpson, an Edinburgh GP, lives there with her husband.

She decided to wait until her children aged eight and 10 got home from school before they attempted to retrieve the note from the bottle.

She told BBC Scotland: “When I picked them up I told them I had something really exciting to tell them and they said ‘Is it that we are having hot dogs for tea?’

“They had a few more guesses and then I told them a message in a bottle had been found in our house and they were really excited and thought it was maybe treasure.”


When they got home they desperately tried to get the note out with tweezers and pliers, but it started to rip a little bit.


So she got a hammer and smashed the bottle.

She said: “We were all crowding around and pointing torches at it and trying to read it, it was so exciting.”

The note was signed and dated by two male workers and read: “James Ritchie and John Grieve laid this floor, but they did not drink the whisky. October 6th 1887.


“Who ever finds this bottle may think our dust is blowing along the road.”

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