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ARTEFACTS RETURNED TO ELVASTON CASTLE

Items from Elvaston Castle have been returned to the county, thanks to an appeal in the Derby Evening Telegraph. The pieces, which include family crests and photographs, belonged to the Harrington family, the former owners. After the sale of the estate in 1966, they were entrusted to the family's former land agent Richard Wallis and his wife Rosemary. The couple, who are now retired, recently decided to donate the items to the Friends of Elvaston Castle, a group which campaigns to preserve the estate and keep it open to the public, after finding out about them on the internet. The only condition was that the Friends travelled to their home in Hampshire to pick them up.

After an appeal in the Telegraph, an anonymous well-wisher came forward and agreed to fund the cost of the trip. Now the items have been returned to Derbyshire. Friends member Graham Mansey said the group hoped the pieces could be used to find out more about the castle's history. He said, "It's brilliant that we have been able to safeguard this important part of Derbyshire's heritage for the thousands of people who visit the castle every year." The items include sales catalogues from Sotheby's, which contain photographs and details of furniture, china and weaponry sold by the Earl of Harrington, and a Spencer's sale catalogue covering the items which were sold in the general sale of the castle.

There are also 17 original Harrington family crests, which the Friends believe may be those which have been missing from the main stairwell in the castle; and two pieces of metal scroll work, believed to have originally been part of the castle's famous golden gates. Mr Mansey said, "It's fantastic to have these artifacts returned to Elvaston. The information will give us an insight into the history of the estate and we are extremely grateful to the people who sponsored the trip." Derby Evening Telegraph, Sep/08

               
         

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