Painted panels home at last

THE Duke of Northumberland marked the return of four restored art works with poetry and pipes at the castle.

A small gathering of invited guests attended the unveiling of the Chevy Chase Panels at Alnwick Castle.

The Duke said: "My family has been associated with Alnwick for the last 900 years and the panels are an important part of the cultural heritage of Northumberland entrusted to my care.

"We have an on-going programme of restoration and conservation to ensure that the art collection and the castle remain in good condition for future generations."

The Chevy Chase panels, painted by Francis Gotzenberg in the 1850s, have been away in London for two years under going painstaking conservation work.

Each of the huge paintings measures 3.5m by 1.5m and depicts the great Northumberland ballad of Chevy Chase.

As part of the ceremony Mike Tickell recited the famous ballad of Chevy Chase accompanied by the Duke's private piper, Richard Butler.