Beds, Herts & Bucks

William the Conqueror Berkhamsted bust seeks permanent home

Bronze bust of William the Conqueror Image copyright Jonathan Culverhouse
Image caption The bronze bust of William the Conqueror was on display at Berkhamsted Castle for one day only in October

A bronze bust of William the Conqueror to mark the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings remains "homeless".

It was unveiled last October at Berkhamsted Castle, where English leaders surrendered to William in 1066.

But English Heritage said it could not take it as it could not be protect it from vandals and its owner says the Berkhamsted council cannot house it.

The bust has mostly been in its owner's Hertfordshire garage but is currently housed in a private library.

Businessman Jon Culverhouse, who commissioned the sculpture, had hoped it could go on permanent display at the castle where William, Duke of Normandy, received the submission of the English after the battle.

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Mr Culverhouse had the bust made to mark the importance of the town, and thought it would be "an attraction that people could come and admire".

'Ignominy in garage'

However, while English Heritage, which manages Berkhamsted Castle, said it was "happy to host the unveiling of it", it was "not confident that we can protect the work from vandalism or theft".

"We wish him all the best with his efforts to find a home for it," a spokeswoman added.

William was only on public display for one day at the castle, after which he was "relegated to the ignominy of my garage", Mr Culverhouse said.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Battle of Hastings took place on 14 October 1066 and was fought between William of Normandy's army from France and King Harold II's English army

His former school, Berkhamsted, has had it on display in its private library since February, but Mr Culverhouse is still hoping a permanent home can be found for William.

"I went to the town council and said would you like to take it, but they found nowhere for it, so the search goes on," he said.

The council has not commented.

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