National Trust workers find 200-year-old mummified RATS under floorboards of Somerset baroque mansion

Chris Parsons
News Editor
Yahoo News.
Gruesome: One of the mummified rats found in Bath. (SWNS)

Two mummified rats dating back 200 years have been found under the floorboards of a National Trust property - with their whiskers still intact.

Workers had a shock after discovering the perfectly-preserved animals while installing a new biomass boiler at Dyrham Park near Bath, Somerset.

The warm, enclosed and dry conditions meant that the rats’ bodies were so perfectly preserved their fur and even their whiskers remain on their faces.

Staff have now put the rodents on display under a Perspex floorboard so visitors can see them.

It is thought that rats, which have been named Martin and Collin after the people that found them, are between 100 and 200 years old.

Visitor experience officer Kate Collins who found the second rat, said: 'We've been having to do a lot of work to prepare the house for the roof project and we thought we'd find a few weird and wonderful bits and bobs, but we never imagined anything like this.

'At first I thought it was just a bit of old carpet but then I saw the little paws and it made me jump. I couldn't believe how well preserved it was.

'It's quite the talking point and we're hoping it will continue to be so in the new exhibition, which opens in March.'

Dryham Park, a baroque mansion in an ancient deer park,  is currently undergoing a £3.8 million project to save the future of the house.

Work is currently underway to replace the roof, as the current one is over 150 years old, as well as install a new biomass boiler.

Project manager, Colette Cuddihy, said: 'This is a major project but it will give us a roof which will last over 100 years and safeguard the contents of a very significant house.

'It is the first really major structural restoration since Colonel George Blathwayt carried out his restoration work in the Victorian era.'

The rats on display at the National Trust property. (SWNS)
The rats have been named 'Martin' and 'Colin' after the workers who found them. (SWNS)