"I was replacing the joists in the floor when I noticed a slight depression—it appeared to be filled in with the foundations of the house," Colin Steer told the London Telegraph. The discovery has led Sheer to explore the history of his property, located in the city of Plymouth, near the south coast of Devon, England.
After receiving permission from his wife, Steer dug some 17 feet down into the well, which plans show dates to the 16 century.
"I dug down about one foot but my wife just wanted to me to cover it back up because we had three children running around at the time," he said. "I always wanted to dig it out to see if I could find a pot of gold at the bottom, so when I retired at the end of last year that's what I started to do."
Steer is seeking help from experts to determine exactly how old the well is. In the meantime, he has installed lights along its shaft and covered up the opening with a trap door.
At one point during his excavation efforts, Steer and a friend found a sword.
"It was hidden at a 45 degree angle and sort of just fell out. It looks like an old peasant's fighting weapon because it appears to be made up of bits of metal all knocked together," he said.
It seems the only person unimpressed with the historical discovery is Steer's wife.
"I hate the well," Vanessa Steer told the Telegraph. "But I suppose it is quite a feature. When we come to sell the house I just hope it's not a white elephant in the room."