A BUSINESSWOMAN uncovered an amazing piece of Taunton's hidden history when she took over a cafe.

Helen Braun, who runs The Tea Room@Bath Place, discovered an incredible plasterwork depicting the Biblical story of Abraham preparing to sacrifice his son, Isaac, in the 16th Century listed building.

And when she look up she was amazed to see a frieze with heraldic designs made for the wedding of William Lechland in 1582 - all she knows about him is that one of his ancestors was whipped for mistreating his children.

Helen said: "I didn't know there were hidden gems like this in Taunton.

"It just blew me away when I saw it.

"They're in pretty good condition, although bits of the frieze have been repaired and we lime washed it.

"They're upstairs, which we've done out as a function room and overflow, although I'm happy for people to just come in and have a look at it.

"We've had a small wedding reception there and everyone who came was saying, 'Wow'."

The premises used to be part of 19 Fore Street, which was built in 1525.

To put the discovery into its historical context, Taunton boasted a flourishing wool industry in the 16th Century; the tower of St Mary Magdalene Church was completed in 1514; Bishop Fox founded a grammar school in the town in 1522; and Henry VIII closed Taunton Priory in 1539.