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Search is on for legendary Hawarden artefact

A CURIOUS amateur historian is hoping Chronicle readers can help track down a little piece of local legend.

Mancot-born Ian Thompson, who now lives in Wiltshire, is trying to establish the whereabouts of an unusual trophy which used to have pride of place in the Glynne Arms in Hawarden.

According to village folklore, Prime Minister William Gladstone was attacked by a mad cow in 1892 in the grounds of Hawarden Castle.

The beast was shot dead by noted marksman Tom Bailey, the licensee of the Castle Inn.

“In recognition Mr Gladstone had the head of the cow mounted on a piece of wood from a tree he himself had felled and presented it to Mr Bailey,” said Ian, who is related to the celebrated gunman.

“The cow’s head remained the property of the Bailey family, but was allowed to be displayed in the Glynne Arms and it was there until recent times.”

But the curious artefact appears to have gone missing in recent years and Ian said ‘enquiries in the area have not revealed its whereabouts’.

He added: “It may, of course, be in the possession of a member of the Bailey family that I have not been able to find, or it may have been removed by a former licensee of the Glynne Arms.

“I feel that such an important historical artefact should be on display somewhere in Hawarden.

“If any readers have any information about its whereabouts I would urge them to get in touch.”

The Glynne Arms, which is owned by Hawarden Estate, was reopened earlier this month by the former PM’s great-great-grandson Charles Gladstone.

Ian said the cow’s head was still in the pub when he last visited Hawarden about 15 years ago.

Anthony Hall, of chartered surveyors William Hall and Co, which looks after the Hawarden Estate’s affairs, told the Chronicle: “We would be very interested to know where it is, as we’ve been looking for it too.

“It should be in the pub as far as we’re concerned.”