Gun discovered under floorboards of Horsham house:‘You never know what you might find’

A Horsham man was startled to find a gun hidden beneath floorboards at his home when he was carrying out some DIY repairs.

Monday, 24th May 2021, 4:54 pm

Jamie Naylor discovered the weapon - thought to be a rifle of the type used in the Battle of Rorke’s Drift during the Anglo-Zulu war - beneath the hallway of his Victorian house in Bedford Road.

“I was absolutely surprised,” said Jamie. “The most I have ever found under floorboards before is a decomposed rat.”

He said his girlfriend Harriet Tate was more shocked when he showed her his find. “She immediately said ‘Don’t touch it. Call the police’,” said Jamie, 28, who works as a senior commercial manager for Sky.

The Martini Henry rifle

Jamie and Harriet, who moved from London to Horsham in February, described the discovery as ‘pretty spectacular.’

“It’s a very old Martini Henry Rifle made in 1894,” said Jamie. “I believe it would have been used in the Second Boer War.

“It’s in a pretty roughed up condition as it’s been sitting in the damp for over a century.”

He said when he first saw the rifle he thought it was pipework. “Then I thought ‘what’s pipework doing under floorboards’?”

Jamie Naylor and Harriet Tate at their Horsham home where they found a gun beneath floorboards

He took the gun out. “I was extremely cautious, just in case, then I immediately got in touch with the police.”

He said that Sussex Police were now checking over the weapon and would decommission it if necessary, “but I’m hoping I’ll get it back,” said Jamie.

“I hope to restore it to near original condition and then probably display it.”

He said he planned to contact Horsham Museum and lend the gun to them for a time “so people can see a little bit of Horsham history.”

And, he added: “You never know what you might find under your floors - Here’s hoping for some buried treasure next time.”