Mysterious Benefactor Returns Long-Lost Key To 900-Year-Old Tower


Andrew Jose Contributor
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An 11th century English tower’s long-lost key was anonymously returned to the charity English Heritage this month, 50 years after its disappearance, according to multiple reports. 

The mysterious sender also sent a note apologizing for “borrowing” the key and failing to return it in time, the Guardian reported. (RELATED: Buckingham Palace Staffer Admits To Stealing Items, Selling Them On eBay)

“Dear English Heritage. Please find enclosed, large key to… St Leonard’s Tower, West Malling, Kent,” read the note, according to the Independent.

“Borrowed 1973. Returned 2020.”

“Sorry for the delay. Regards.”

This missing key belongs to St. Leonard’s tower, a “small” free-standing Norman tower built between 1077-1108 in Kent, according to English Heritage.

Knowledge about the tower’s history and original purpose is scarce, according to the Guardian. However, some reason that the building once formed part of a castle that Gundulf, Bishop of Rochester and half-brother of William the Conqueror, built, while others assert that Bishop Odo of Bayeux constructed it, the Guardian reported.

“It’s certainly one of the most puzzling packages we’ve ever received and just in time for Christmas!” Roy Porter, a senior properties curator at English Heritage, stated, speaking of the key’s return, according to Metro.

“We don’t know how it went missing. We have no idea who would have taken it. We are hoping this person comes forward and helps us connect the dots,” a spokesperson told the UK-based PA news agency, the Guardian reported.

The returned key fits the tower’s keyhole, though it cannot turn in the lock, according to the Independent.

English Heritage desires to reward the anonymous returner’s “honesty” with membership and urges them to get in touch, the Independent reported.