Guests at a fine dining restaurant and bed & breakfast in Rhyl are always surprised to learn that as they cosy up to the fire on their UK holiday in the couple’s hall, they are sitting beside a remarkable piece of Tudor treasure.
A bed in which the much-married monarch Henry VIII romped with his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, has found an unusual resting place at a North Wales hotel.
The wooden section of the bedstead of Catherine, the first of Henry’s six wives, is now part of the grand fireplace at Barratt’s of Tyn Rhyl, in Rhyl.
Historians believe the saucy sovereign slept with Catherine in this same bed during their 21-year marriage. They say there is a compelling case for believing the tradition – she was, after all, pregnant six times.
David and Elvira Barratt, the husband and wife team who have run Barratt’s, a great destination for a UK holiday, for 20 years, certainly believe it is the genuine article. Stories passed down through the generations refer to the old wooden carved surround and its royal connection to Catherine, who married the memorable monarch in June 1509.
Mrs Barratt said: “I found it unbelievable when I first heard about it. Why would Catherine of Aragon’s bedstead be in Rhyl? But once we understood a bit more about the history, I suppose it is like anything. We have things from our parents and they had things from their parents and slowly, things make their way down.”
The Grade II listed building dates back to 1608, just 61 years after the death of Henry VIII and five years after the last of the Tudors, Elizabeth I, and is believed to be the oldest house in Rhyl.
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