June 27, 2022

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A bungling stately home caretaker was sacked after he accidentally gave away a historical Tudor artefact worth ?5million. Brian Wilson was fired from his job at the Grade II listed, 16th century mansion after bosses found he had let a car salesman walk off with the 460 year old antique. Mr Wilson claimed the historic nine feet wide oak overmantel - an ornamental structure above a mantelpiece - was 'rotten', had been set aside to be burned and that giving it away would save him the time of disposing of it. But an employment tribunal heard that auctioneers have since valued the carved piece of wood, which bears the royal coat of arms of Queen Elizabeth I, at ?5m. SEE OUR COPY FOR DETAILS. Please byline: Whitchurch Auctions/Solent News ? Whitchurch Auctions/Solent News & Photo Agency UK +44 (0) 2380 458800
It was claimed the caretaker was about to burn the overmantel (Image: Solent)

A caretaker sacked for allegedly making a gift of gadgets and artefacts from a stately residence has gained an employment tribunal.

Brian Wilson lived in a caravan within the grounds of the 16th century Seighford Corridor, Stafford, the place he labored.

He was fired after bosses heard that he had been promoting gadgets together with a tractor, fireplaces and a £5 million overmantel – ornate woodwork above a hearth.

The vintage was solely saved when a person who was an skilled in Elizabethan historical past simply occurred to stroll previous because it was about to be chopped up.

Suspicions have been first roused when he informed constructing surveyor Richard Lever that there had been a break-in, however there was no signal of pressured entry and Mr Wilson didn’t have against the law reference quantity.

Mr Lever additionally turned conscious accusations that ‘many of the inside and exterior fittings, e.g. fireplace locations, balustrades and fountains are being provided on the market’.

He spoke to Ian Kettlewell, proprietor of Windmill Antiques, who informed him he’d been proven across the corridor in June 2020 by Mr Wilson and acquired two fireplaces off him for £450.

A neighborhood car vendor purchased a tractor in Could 2020 for £1,000.

And when a person referred to as Mr Potter visited he requested if he may rummage by means of a pile of wooden that was about to be burned – together with the overnamtel which has Queen Elizabeth I’s coat of arms carved into it.

Mr Potter took it to Michael Jones, accomplice of Whitchurch Auctions, Shropshire, who described it as ‘sensational’.

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A bungling stately home caretaker was sacked after he accidentally gave away a historical Tudor artefact worth ?5million. Brian Wilson was fired from his job at the Grade II listed, 16th century mansion after bosses found he had let a car salesman walk off with the 460 year old antique. Mr Wilson claimed the historic nine feet wide oak overmantel - an ornamental structure above a mantelpiece - was 'rotten', had been set aside to be burned and that giving it away would save him the time of disposing of it. But an employment tribunal heard that auctioneers have since valued the carved piece of wood, which bears the royal coat of arms of Queen Elizabeth I, at ?5m. SEE OUR COPY FOR DETAILS. Please byline: Stafford Borough Council/Solent News ? Stafford Borough Council/Solent News & Photo Agency UK +44 (0) 2380 458800
The wood vintage pictured in place (Image: Solent)

He stated: ‘He had gone to Seighford with a accomplice as a result of he was excited by shopping for it. When he left he noticed they have been chucking all these bits of rotten wooden on a bonfire they have been nearly to cowl with petrol and set alight.

‘On the highest was this overmantel and he stated “can I’ve that?” He didn’t do something with it for a few 12 months after which determined he was going to chop it as much as make headboards from it for his three children.

‘Simply as he was about to chop it up in entrance of his storage a gentleman walked previous and stated ‘what are you doing?’. This man was an skilled in Elizabethan historical past and informed him it might be price lots.

Mr Wilson’s bosses requested to talk to him about what had occurred and he didn’t attend the assembly so was sacked in November 2020. He didn’t discover out till February 2021 that he had misplaced his job.

A tribunal discovered this was unfair dismissal and he was awarded over £4,000 in misplaced pay, however no compensation.

Employment decide Kate Hindmarch stated: ‘I’ve discovered [Mr Wilson’s] actions have been with out permission and that he was not credible in his explanations. His behaviour was blameworthy, and I discover the essential award ought to be nil.’

Mr Potter has not been in a position to promote the overmantel and turned down a suggestion of £1.9 million.