The renovation of a century-old home at Dubbo has unearthed a forgotten relic, surprising and delighting the owners.
Kelly Leonard was amazed when a well that's estimated to be between 18 and 20 metres deep was found by builders working on the family's property.
She and her husband have owned the house they call Gundarra in Dubbo's south for 10 years.
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They had heard rumours of a well's existence but were unsure of its fate or precise location, Mrs Leonard said.
The discovery caused a sensation at the work site.
"The brickwork's amazing, it's in absolute mint condition," Mrs Leonard said.
"Everyone was really shocked and the builders were really shocked, with the integrity of the well.
...it's in absolute mint condition.Owner Kelly Leonard
"They said they have found them before, but normally they're all crumbled, they don't go that far down just because they've just decayed over the years."
Mrs Leonard said the dwelling would originally have been a farmhouse on the outskirts of town, until the city grew to surround it.
They don't know exactly how old it is because the records have not survived.
"But everyone who's seen it says late 1800s, very early 1900s," Mrs Leonard said.
"Mat Dickerson, ex-mayor, he grew up in the house, his family home.
"They actually remember the well, I sent Mat a text and asked him when we found the well, and he said he remembered it, and his dad covered it over, many, many years ago."
Seeing the light of the day for the first time this century, the well has a new destiny.
The Leonards are including it in their renovations.
"So we've made it part of a feature of the slab... we've decided you can't cover it up again," Mrs Leonard said.
"So there's conduit there to put lights down in the well, so you can actually light it up.
"And council have come to approve it all and just told us how we have to reinforce it so people can't fall down.
"And we've had the slab poured around it and then it will have a clear lid cover, whether it be glass or perspex, it has to be certified for safety.
"So then it will be a nice feature."
An enthusiast for old houses, Mrs Leonard still has questions about the well.
"...I would like to know who built it, who dug that hole, how they dug it, and then even how they bricked it," she said.
"It's quite amazing in that way.
"And just to think that's how they did get water to the house."
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