Renovators got more than they bargained for when working on a Highland cafe – after uncovering a sign dating back to the 19th century.
Work to strip the walls back to their original stonework at Deli in the Square in Strathpeffer uncovered the sign, believed to have been made in 1870.
The sign was uncovered by chance after wooden panelling was removed from the walls.
It now takes pride of place in the eatery, with plans for a plaque underneath it.
David Shields, who owns the deli with his partner Ann MacKinnon, thanked the locals who helped shed some light on its origins.
He said: “We bought the shop next door which used to be a dog grooming business and we have taken that back to the stone.
“We took a bit of the old panelling off the wall and we saw the corner of the sign. We decided to take it all off and see what it was, and the original shopfront was there.
“We found a couple of other bits including a note from a joiner in 1912 who put the windows in and who had left his name and address.
“It was quite exciting. We put it up on our Facebook to see if any of the locals knew anything about it and we were passed a bit of history of when it is from.
“It’s been a talking point in the town and people have noticed that it is not our name on the wall so they are keen to find out who it is.
“We hadn’t a clue it was there. It was a nice wee find.”
The sign is believed to have been put in place by former postmaster Hugh Beaton who owned the shop, believed to have been built around 1862, from 1870, before adding an extension in 1896 which masked the sign.
Renovation works are not quite fully complete, but the deli has reopened and is experiencing its fair share of trade.
Mr Shields added: “Covid has held us back but we are nearly there.
“Strathpeffer has really been left alone for a few years now.
“In Victorian days people used to come for the hot springs and it has been pushed aside in recent years just to being a coach party stopping place.
“The work we are doing and the work the community council and others have done to the square is about trying to get it back to being a place where people come to visit and go for their walks and see just how nice a place it is.”