UK

Gwydir Castle And The Mystery Of The 'Missing Room' Prompts US Appeal

The owners think it could be in America.

05/01/2017 14:07 GMT

The owners of a Tudor castle are trying to track down an entire room after painstakingly restoring the rest of the incredible 15th century building.

Peter Welford and Judy Corbett have been renovating Gwydir Castle in Conwy, Wales, for 22 years.

While they have made much progress in restoring the castle to its former glory from the derelict state they found it in, there is one vital piece of the puzzle missing.

An entire room, known as the Oak Parlour, was bought when several key features of the house were sold off.

This included the 16th-century linen-fold panelling, the overmantel of the fireplace and the room’s carved and moulded ceiling beams.

It was purchased by US newspaper tycoon Randolph Hearst in 1921, initially destined for San Simeon, the castle he had built in California. 

However, he had the features installed in the billiard room of his New York apartment.

In a post on Gwydir Castle’s Facebook page, its owners said: “The apartment was known as the Clarendon, said to be the largest apartment in the world. It was partly demolished in the 1930s but we know the panelled rooms were taken out and stored elsewhere. This is where we lose track of it.

“Where did our room go? Did the Hearst family hold on to it? Was it sold? Was it donated to an American Museum?

Patrick Gruban
Gwydir Castle dates back to the 15th century

“We have spent years looking through archives and records but can find no trace of it anywhere.

“May be someone will recognise the photograph below and will tell us where our room is. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to bring it home to Wales?”

While it may seem like a daunting task, Corbett and Welford were given hope when they found the dining room, which had also been purchased by Hearst.

The features were found in a warehouse belonging to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and returned to its Welsh home in 1996.

In July 1998, Prince Charles opened the newly-reinstated dining room.

Many members of royalty are said to have visited the castle its heydays, including King Charles I in 1645 and King George V and Queen Mary (when they were Duke and Duchess of York) in 1899.