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Paul Martin


Well known popular TV antique expert, Paul Martin, will be sharing his knowledge and experience with Malmesbury residents on Monday April 22 by hosting a free community valuation day at the Old Bell Hotel.

The valuation day, which is being run in partnership with world renowned Devizes auctioneers Henry Aldridge & Son, for which Paul is Head of Valuations, will take place 10am-3pm and is intended to encourage members of the public to dust off those items they’ve always been curious about and bring them along to be discussed, valued and perhaps sold. 

Paul would be delighted to see items ranging from antiques, collectables, silver, gold, militaria and jewellery. 

“The day in Malmesbury is going to be so interesting,” said Paul. “It has such a varied and interesting history, much of which you can still see the evidence of in the town and its surroundings, because so much of its history is connected to its geographical location. I’m certain it will make for a very interesting day!”

Paul has been a tv presenter and expert for over 20 years on programmes including the Antiques’ Road Trip; Flog It!; Countryfile and many more. He has a new series, Paul Martin’s Auction Showdown, going live on Channel 5 this year.

“Even though I am a tv presenter and still enjoy my broadcast career, I’m an antiques man at heart and these events allow me to get back to what drives me — the people, their objects and the stories they tell.”

The day is part of a programme of valuation days being run by Paul in his role as Head of Valuations at Henry Aldridge & Son, based in Devizes. 

“Wiltshire is such a great part of the country to host these kinds of days,” said Paul. “There is so much history here and the people are really generous with their time and curiosity, so I’m sure we’ll see some fascinating items and learn lots from the stories attached to them.”

Malmesbury’s history is intimately bound up with the history of its Abbey, which was founded as a Benedictine Monastery around 676 and is the burial site of the first king of England, Æthelstan, who died in 939. It’s an important year for the town as 2024 marks the 1100th anniversary of Athelstan becoming the first King of England and there are many events planned to celebrate this. 

By the 11th century, the Abbey had become known as a leading seat of learning and housed the second biggest library in Europe. A watercolour of the Abbey, painted by J.M.W. Turner c.1827, hangs in the local Athelstan Museum, whose volunteer team collectively set about raising more than £400,000 in 2020 to purchase the piece and preserve it for local residents, preventing it from being moved outside of the UK. The town is also well known as a key location of the post-Reformation textile industry, especially lacemaking. More recently, Malmesbury has been known as the site of Dyson’s research, design and development centre, which employs around 4,000 people locally. 

The Old Bell Hotel, where the community valuation day is being held, is steeped in history itself and is rumoured to be the oldest hotel in England. Dating back to 1220, the hotel was originally a hostelry established to cater for visiting dignitaries to Malmesbury Abbey and is built on the site where Malmesbury Castle originally stood. Having been a site of much contention and dispute over the preceding 100 years, falling in and out of royal hands, the Castle was destroyed during the reign of King John at the request of the local monks, and a guesthouse serving the Abbey was then constructed. It was known at The Castle Inn until 1798. 

The Hotel’s owners have included Sir John Danvers who, as a keen supporter of Oliver Cromwell, signed the death warrant of King Charles I in 1649; and Lord Thomas Wharton, who used his political influence to turn Malmesbury into a “rotten borough” and whose son founded the original Hell Fire Club in London.

“With this really rich and culturally fascinating history it will be so interesting to see what items will be brought to our attention,” says Paul. “We could end up being presented with some fascinating items that reveal brilliant snippets about the history of the area and the people who have helped make it what it is today. What’s exciting about community valuation days is you never quite know what will turn up. It’s full of surprises!”

For more information on Paul’s community valuation days, please visit:

Fiona Scott Media Consultancy Swindon

Scott Media

Scott Media is run by a UK-based journalist with more than 20 years' experience in the media - print, radio and television.

6 Gold View, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN5 8GZ

Fiona Scott Media Consultancy
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