What a surprise find! History buffs from Nottinghamshire, UK, are currently investigating hundreds of “startling” documents found in a chest hidden for centuries. The historical papers, written in Latin and English, were discovered hidden in a chest in the outbuilding of an old farmhouse in Upper Broughton.

The parchment and vellum (very fine material made from the skin of lambs or calves) documents date from the 16th century and contain details of the names and occupations of the inhabitants of the time, as well as titles and wills from the reign of Henry VIII modern English is currently being worked on.

The Upper Broughton History Group, a local history association, described the find of the chest as “incredible” and said the documents were in “extremely good” condition. Rosemary Russell, co-chair of the group, said the documents were dated was found and donated to the charity by local farmer Nick Connors, whose father once bought the farm they were camped on.

Russell said the chest contained about 250 documents, in seven bundles, wrapped in brown paper. “If you have your back to our church and you look at the tombstones there in front of you, the names on those stones are in those documents,” she says. “It’s people who lived here in previous generations, and we only know a fraction of their stories.”

Members photograph the records and log the information before it is soon archived to help people research family history. Rushcliffe Borough Council has provided a grant to fund the work of the association. Tina Combellack, local councilor for the village, said: “This was an amazing find and the villagers have worked so hard to find out what the documents are and how far back they go.”

What: BBC