ASHBOURNE’S former library has long been a storage facility for the town’s history.
The records it has kept in its many books and archives before its move from Cokayne Avenue have documented the town’s past like no other resource.
But when its new occupant started peeling away the utilitarian carpet tiles, one more surprising and hidden piece of Ashbourne’s history was waiting to be found.
Jackie Howard, who has been given planning permission to transform part of the former stately home into a tea room, shop and sewing workshop space, could not believe her eyes when, beneath the carpet tiles in one room at the rear of the library, lay a beautifully preserved tile floor.
The thick glue, which will costs thousands of pounds to professionally remove, chips away to reveal the colourful pattern, which it is thought would have once adorned a formal room when the building was a private house, or possibly in its later life as a hotel.
Mrs Howard, who is renovating the interior to create her business, called Betty’s Sewing Box, said it was a ‘dream come true’ to find such a valuable floor hidden away as it suits her new ‘upcycling’ venture so well.