THE principal contents of Greystoke Castle, near Penrith, including a rare portrait and other items of historical interest, will be sold at an auction next week.

It will take place at Mitchells, in Cockermouth, on the first day of their four-day Antiques & Fine Art Sale.

Highlights include a portrait by the famous artist George Romney (1734-1802), who was born in Dalton in Furness, and a painting of Bonnie Prince Charlie as well as many fine antique furnishings and decorative items.

The oil painting by Romney is a portrait of Charles Howard of Greystoke, 11th Duke of Norfolk (1746-1815), which is signed and dated 1777 and expected to sell for £15,000-£20,000.

Charles Howard, who was also known as ‘The Drunken Duke’, was a large man, highly intelligent who was made a fellow of the Royal Society. But he was also shy and disliked the atmosphere at Court so for much of his life took refuge at Greystoke Castle.

The artist George Romney was the most fashionable portrait artist of his day.

Also of historical interest is an 18th century oil painting of ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’ ‘Charles Edward Stuart the Young Pretender’ (1720-1788) in the style of ‘Wassdail’, possibly James Worsdale (1692-1767).

The portrait is rumoured to have been a gift from Bonnie Prince Charlie himself, who hoped to bribe his way through the border chain of castles on his way south with his Scottish army.

The portrait is valued at £3,000-£4,000.

Furnishings from Greystoke Castle include an impressive pair of mid-18th century Rococo carved wood pier glasses with an estimate of £15,000-£20,000.

These two large mirrors measuring 10ft in height formed the main part of the remnants of the contents following the occupation of Greystoke Castle during the Second World War by Polish prisoners of war.

Unlike the rest of the family’s possessions, which had been looted and largely burned for fuel, the two mirrors were recovered from a barn in the farm steading where they had been stored in the hay loft.

From a deceased estate in South Lakeland is a large private collection of silver and antique furniture amassed by a passionate collector who travelled to auctions and antique shops throughout the UK, curating his items in a farmhouse near Crook.

The family had no idea of the extent of his collection which includes over 100 silver caddy spoons, which could make a total of £15,000, approximately 40 tea caddies, as well as a selection of good antique furniture.

These items will feature in the first day of the sale, on Tuesday, November 30.

Day two (December 1) will include Asian art, ceramics and glassware, jewellery, watches and coins.

Day three (December 2) will include paintings, drawings and prints, textiles and objects of art.

Day four (december 3) will include table boxes, barometers and furniture.

More details at