Letter: Sale of sheriff's home

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The Independent Online
Sir: In this, the 40th anniversary of Her Majesty's accession, and the millennium of the shrievalty, it is worth remembering that Pitchford Hall, a victim of the Lloyd's losses, is not just one of the finest houses in England, but a family home par excellence. The hall, built by the son of William Ottley, Sheriff of Shropshire in 1499 and 1513, has retained its contents and family associations to this day.

During the Second World War it was designated as a safe haven for George VI, his Queen and the Royal princesses. In the event it was not needed for this purpose, but the importance of the house as a family home was much enhanced. It would be a tragedy if the house and contents were separated. Together they form an irreplaceable part of the heritage of Shropshire and England. If forced asunder, they would become flotsam on the pages of history.

Yours faithfully,


Ellesmere, Shropshire

28 July

The writer was High Sheriff of Shropshire in 1991.