Rich history of Suffolk pub pays dividends for landlord


Bishop & Miller, one of the East of England's leading independent auction and valuation firms, held its Fine Art Sale last weekend (Saturday 24 February) in Stowmarket where a rare early 19th Century painted panel from a Woolpit pub was sold for £3,000, amongst many other collectable items that went under the hammer.
The unusual painted panel belonged to retired landlord Trevor Howling, 68, and had been found in the walls of the living quarters of The Bull Inn, Woolpit, where Trevor and his wife were landlord and landlady for 26 years. 
Trevor Howling says: “We were always interested in the panel and thought it could have some historical relevance. It was discovered behind a panelled wall before we took over the pub and after years of enjoying it on display, when we retired we decided to take it to be valued. We took it along to one of the Bishop & Miller valuation days in Beccles and we were pleased with the estimate of £400- £600. We were over the moon to hear it sold for £3,000 in the recent auction.

Oliver Miller, managing director of Bishop & Miller, said: “This painted panel would have been completed by an amateur artist (you can tell from the less skilled sense of perspective in the painting) but this quirk gives the two-hundred-year-old painting real charm. The story of this panel being discovered in the walls of a local pub adds to the intrigue of this item and I’m not surprised it caught so much attention in the auction room at the weekend.”
Bishop & Miller’s next auction is a Toy and Music Memorabilia Sale on Saturday 10 March which will feature music, musical instruments and toys as well as watches and works of art, to browse the catalogue for this auction visit:
If you think you could have something of interest that you would like to be valued come along to a valuation day, for details on venues and dates go to
For further information on auctions and valuation events please contact the Bishop & Miller team on: 01449 673088 or and visit