Second Time Capsule Discovered in Inverness Town Steeple

 

The contents of the 1878 Inverness Time Capsule found in the town steeple.

The contents of the 1878 Inverness Time Capsule found in the town steeple.

A TIME capsule believed to date from the 19th Century has been discovered by workers at the Inverness Town Steeple.

The capsule is the second to be uncovered during works to renovate the historic city building, and having been placed around 1878, is believed to predate the first find from 1923 by more than four decades.

The discovery was made by Tony Russell and Jordan Fraser of D.Y. Fraser Joiners, Invernes, who were carrying out works on the interior of the steeple building for The Highland Council when they found a dusty cigar box pushed into a dark recess that had once held timbers for a long-since replaced staircase.

The cigar box that held the 1878 Inverness time capsule

The cigar box that held the 1878 Inverness time capsule

Inverness Time Capsule Hidden for 135 Years 

The pair took the box straight to project managers who passed it over to the team at Inverness Museum and Art Gallery for examination.

Items stored in the “El Globo” Havana cigar box, which was in good condition having lain hidden for 135 years, included:

  • Envelope with “Penny Brown” Stamp - addressed to Mr D.C.Taylor, Tobacconist, 1 Church Street, Inverness (perhaps explaining the choice of container!)
  • Cards Promoting “Free Fishing Days on the River Ness” - published by the Inverness Advertiser in February 1878.
  • Inverness Bank Savings Book - dated 1878 

There were also other items including a religious booklet, various old coins and receipts.

Capsule Offers Insight Into Inverness History

Provost Alex Graham welcomed the  discovery and said: “Thanks to our contractors’ sharp eyes and the swift action of our clerk of works to get this latest time capsule quickly into the safe hands of Inverness Museum we have another fascinating insight into the social history of Inverness.

“It would be of great interest to know why this cigar box and its contents were hidden away – hopefully with some research the connections between the names and the time frame of 1878 will be found. Perhaps Mr Taylor, the Tobacconist, had a shop in the steeple building?”

  • Know something about tobacconist Mr D. C. Taylor or the history of the time capsule and its contents? We’d love to hear from you via our Facebook Page – or you can tweet us @InvernessCityUK

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