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BBC Wales History BBC Wales History | 16:17 UK time, Friday, 24 September 2010

The National Trust is asking the public to help them solve a mystery.

Almost 100 single shoes have been discovered by workers who are restoring Gelli Iago, a ruined cottage in Nant Gwynant, Snowdonia.

Victorian shoes found beneath the fireplace at a cottage in Nant Gwynant

Shoes discovered at the derelict cottage in Snowdonia.

The 300-year-old ruined cottage was acquired by the National Trust after 1998's Save Snowdon campaign.

Rhys Evans, Snowdonia Operations Manager at the National Trust said about the find:

"We're baffled by this strange discovery. We know the house was probably built sometime during the 17th Century and that it is one of the oldest buildings remaining in Nant Gwynant."

The solitary footwear discovery is puzzling but not unique.

One explanation that the trust is investigating is the "concealed shoes" phenomenon - an ancient and superstitious practice aimed at guarding a house against bad luck.

A shoe is believed to retain the shape, the personality, the essence of the wearer. and could therefore have a certain power to guard against perceived evil forces.

Discover more about this extraordinary find and the National Trust's appeal for public help to restore this building on BBC Wales News website.

Read Concealed Shoes in Buildings by June Swann to find out more on this phenomenon.

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