CATHOLIC RECORDS IN THE ATTIC. DETAILS OF EVERYDAY LIFE FOUND IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY CATHOLIC HOUSEHOLD OF THE GUNTER FAMILY OF ABERGAVENNY by RICHARD ALLEN Renovation work conducted on 37 Cross Street, Abergavenny, between 1907-8 led to a surprising discovery. T.S. Foster, the owner of the property and a local builder in the town, along with his workmen discovered a sealed attic. As they opened up the room they were surprised to see a mural of The Adoration of the Magi painted upon the sloping plastered ceiling. It is fortunate that they had the presence of mind to take photographs of their discovery as well as carefully removing the mural and relocating it in a glazed oak frame. There were also other religious markings on the plastered walls, including the letters I.H.S. in rays below a depiction of the Cross of Christ and an image of the Sacred Heart. Childish drawings of male and female forms were visible as well as the initials T.G. 'his marke' signifying Thomas Gunter. Further surprises awaited the workmen as they found that hidden beneath the attic floorboards were papers relating to the seventeenth century. These documents, many of them ripped or water damaged, belonged to the Gunter family who lived in a period when as Catholics they were visualised as political enemies. Their home, Gunter House, comprised 37-40 Cross Street, and was originally built in the early years of the seventeenth century. Indeed, when the restoration was being carried out the hallmarks of Jacobean plasterwork could still be seen on the ceilings and door and window frames still retained the era of this bygone age. The remainder of this paper is not an attempt to break any new ground on the history of seventeenth century Roman Catholicism in Monmouthshire. Indeed many of the documents that will be presented have been transcribed and written about earlier this century.2 The purpose here is to present these fragments of social history to a new generation of readers as well as to set them in their historical context. The Gunter Family Three well-known Monmouthshire historians, namely Colonel. J.A. Bradney, the Reverend John Davies of Pandy, and Mr. Hobson Matthews, sifted through the evidence and decided that the house formerly belonged to Thomas Gunter, a solicitor in the town. He was a Roman Catholic recusant who lived through some of the worse years of persecution during the period of the alleged Popish Plot of 1678.3 Gunter was certainly a very committed Catholic who had risked punishment for harbouring and entertaining outlawed Catholic priests, holding Mass on his premises and for allowing baptism and marriage ceremonies to be conducted there.4 Indeed, as Dr. Robert Matthews noted in his recent study on the Gunter family they may not have been, :amongst the most prominent