[Bell Historians] Leighton, Powys see: THE LEIGHTON NEWS February 2013

Ken Webb ken44webb at gmail.com
Sun Aug 28 12:53:21 BST 2022

On 28/08/2022 09:42, Michael A Williams wrote:
> Leighton Hall?

Sold by 1993 but possibly re-instated?:

Twenty years ago there was another Inquiry, about Leighton issues, in 
the Council Chamber in Welshpool. It seemed crucially important at the 
time. It concerned an appeal against an enforcement notice issued by the 
council after the then owner of Leighton Hall had sold items which were 
considered to be part of the Grade II* listed building.

These were the turret clock with carillon from the front entrance tower, 
and the three gasoliers which were a feature of the great hall.

The focus of the inquiry was to determine whether these items were 
“fittings” ie. additions – like furniture, or “fixtures” ie. an integral 
part of the listed building and therefore not removable.

The turret clock was said to be a “unique French baroque clock weighing 
many tons” “ one of the finest clocks of its kind in the world”. The 
gasoliers are huge “exuberant and opulent” chandelier-like lamp holders 
which were intended to run on estate supplied gas.

As with the recent eight day Inquiry, it was run on the same lines as a 
court case, with solicitors, barristers, expert and professional 
witnesses, mountains of documents, statements, rebuttals, and cross 
examinations (of varying degrees of ferocity!). In the foyer outside the 
chamber, and shoved into a corner of the staircase, is the statue of The 
Fall of Icarus. This is another treasure from Leighton Hall: it had 
spent its glory days with Icarus plunging into the pool in the gardens. 
The statue had been sold, but was recovered by the council, and has 
remained at the Council Offices ever since! The 1993 Inquiry was shorter 
than the recent one.

The Inspector (for the Welsh Secretary John Redwood) ruled that the 
clock and gasoliers were fixtures and must be returned to Leighton Hall. 
(The gasoliers being designed to be plumbed-in to the gas pipework in 
the hall; and both the clock and the tower stairs had been adapted 
originally to fix the clock in the tower.) The Shropshire farmer who had 
bought the items, lost his challenge to the Minister’s decision in the 
High Court in London over two years later, and was ordered to pay costs.




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