When Rosalind Davey rummaged through an old chest of drawers she was only expecting to find junk.
But to her and her husband Ron’s astonishment they uncovered historical letters from a British monarch dating back centuries.
The notes – complete with a royal wax seal – were penned by Queen Adelaide in 1832 asking the Sisters of Fulneck to embroider a muslin cloth for her.
Her letters to the Sisters describe their work as “beautiful specimens” and asks for the cloth to be sent to London without any pin marks on it.
The history enthusiast also discovered an embroidery pattern for a cushion made in the historic Moravian settlement especially for Queen Victoria .
The intricate pattern, which went on display as part of The Great Exhibition in 1851, includes the names of the Queen and Prince Albert as well as their children’s names and dates of birth.
Rosalind, who has lived in Fulneck for the last 17 years, said: “There was a big chest of drawers in the loft of our flats that had to go because of fire regulations and I thought it was full of rubbish.
“I got to the bottom drawer and there were all of these patterns.
“We were quite amazed and set back especially when we read the letters. It was all just pushed into a drawer.”
She added: “It was exciting to think that the Sisters had this collection so many years ago that we knew about but didn’t know we had.”
The royal items are just some of the collection that will go on display when the settlement, near Pudsey, opens its gates for a heritage weekend.
Heritage weekend coordinator Myra Dickinson added: “It’s the first time these originals are on view because of the Jubilee year.
“I think the most exciting thing was discovering the pattern for the cushion.
“It was mentioned in some writing but we couldn’t find it.”
The Heritage Open Day will be held on Saturday, September 8, between 10am and 4pm.