Finder Of Secret Treasure In Scotland Could Bag £10,000

16:36 Mon 24th May 2010 |

Although stereotypically seen as cold and wet Scotland can be a great place to go on holiday if you are not interested in the weather. It has a long and twisted history with many characters and intrigue.

Now, it seems, there is an even more compelling reason to visit one of our closest neighbours – a £10,000 prize.

Organisers of the Burns Bequest trip have hidden a gold mouse worth the amount somewhere in the country and are inviting people to log on to their site to get directions. You must register with the site and pay a small fee after which you will be given access to a number of letters by a story-creator from which they can make their deductions.

The jaunt has been devised in homage to poet Robert Burns, who was supposedly given the original trinket by a Scottish Earl. It is said that during a tour of Scotland Burns hid the valuable ornament with the intent for it to be found by a woman with whom he was in correspondence.

A bundle of letters to the woman was recently found in an armoire which belonged to Burns’ wife, Jean. It seems he gave the letters to her to post but she hid them.  Jean, realising who they were for, didn't dispatch them; neither did she open them, respecting her husband's privacy, but hid them in her armoire, where they stayed for two and a half centuries.

"I have long been an admirer of Kit Williams' 1970s book-based hunt for a golden hare – Masquerade – and decided the current economic circumstances were auspicious to launch a web-based treasure hunt," he said.

As the treasure-hunt website makes very clear: "The mouse is not buried in public or private gardens, or grounds surrounding a public or private building. If you do decide to start excavating your way across Scotland, you will have to shoulder the responsibility if you are digging someone's garden up. Of course, if it is in a vegetable patch, the owner may even be quite happy, but we wouldn't bank on it."

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