A 400-year-old mummified cat has been found in the walls of a house that was being renovated.

The cat, which is in recognisable shape and still has its claws and teeth, may have been placed in the walls of the house in Devon, to ward off evil spirits.

Richard Parson, a funeral director, who owns the house in Ugborough, near Plymouth, said: "The builders were stripping one of the bathrooms upstairs and this little fellow came to light. It is quite scary looking and is a lot bigger than a normal domestic cat."

He added: "Apparently 400 years ago people put cats behind walls to ward off witches. It clearly works as, since we have lived in the village, we have not seen sight or sound of any witches."

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