Beds, Herts & Bucks

Lord Brocket's staff fail in bid to get heirlooms from hall

Brocket Hall standoff Image copyright JOHN O REILLY 07850 840246
Image caption Lord Brocket signed a lease agreement while in prison and unable to run the house and estate in Hertfordshire.

A peer who handed control of his stately home and estate to a hotel and golf group when he was jailed has failed to get back family heirlooms.

Lord Charles Brocket, 62, sent removal vans to Brocket Hall in Hertfordshire on Monday believing he had permission to remove the property.

After a stand-off at the hall gates, the vans were turned away empty.

Lord Brocket was jailed for his part in a £4.5m insurance fraud involving classic cars in the 1990

The company is expected to comment in detail later.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The peer was said to be present when a removal team took art and antiques from Brocket Hall in June

The 62-year-old peer, who appeared on I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here in 2004, is in a year-long dispute with the company that is leasing the heirlooms that decorate the 25-bed Grade-I listed house.

The house and 500-acre estate is run as a hotel and golf complex.

The hall, near Welwyn Garden City, was leased out to Brocket Hall International (BHI).

In a statement the peer said trustees of the Brocket Estate would be criminally liable if they fail to maintain the listed buildings and contents.

The vans were turned away when the tenant's solicitors wrote saying that the trustees could not clear the contents.

A dinner for players and their partners from Arsenal football club was cited as a reason, he said.

The peer believed lawyers from the two sides had reached an agreement for the trustees to collect the contents.

Last June, the peer hired a removal company to seize items and a convoy of lorries was stopped on the A1 by police who forced him to return the paintings and furniture to the house.

Image copyright Ian Capper
Image caption Lord Brocket said the items taken by the removal team in June were worth about £2m
Image copyright JOHN O REILLY 07850 840246
Image caption Vans lining up on Monday morning waiting to gain entrance to collect items from Brocket Hall
Image copyright JOHN O REILLY 07850 840246
Image caption Removal company staff were turned away after a stand off at the gates to Brocket Hall
Image copyright JOHN O REILLY 07850 840246
Image caption Security staff were present

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