Sleep Tight

Britain's Oldest - And Poshest - Bed

UK's oldest continuously-used bed found

In really posh British houses, there are no such things as antiques, just very, very old pieces of furniture (hence the old British insult that the nouveau riche are people who buy their own furniture).

So what could be a more splendid statement of one's aristocratic lineage than bedding down at night in a bed which has been in the family for over 400 years?

John Berkeley, 81, and his wife Georgina, 73, still spend their nights slumbering in this splendid four poster bed at Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire, located in the Great State Bedroom.

The antique four-poster has an ornate carved headboard featuring a set of royal arms in the middle of the headboard dating the bed to the period after the accession of James I in 1603.

His mother, Anne, was a lady-in-waiting and companion of Anne Boleyn, Henry's second wife.

Less glamorously, the bed has been identified as part of a marketing exercise by chain Furniture Village.

Charlie Harrison, marketing director at Furniture Village, tells The Daily Telegraph: "Our research revealed that, although people pass on items of furniture to loved ones and treasured items can remain in the family, after a few generations the stories of the original owners become forgotten.

"What makes the Berkeley bed so unique is that it is still used by the same family and its moment of appearance can be accurately dated.

"Most importantly, of course, the 400-year-old Berkeley Castle bed offers compelling evidence that nothing beats British furniture for craftsmanship and durability."

Well, we all have to pay the bills somehow I suppose.