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Thirty-four paintings and a set of six watercolours have been accepted for the nation in lieu of inheritance tax.

First published:
13 March 2017
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

The Acceptance means that the public will continue to have access to the remarkable collection of paintings, which will be retained at the National Trust property, Penrhyn Castle where they will continue to be displayed.
Richard Pennant was the 1st Baron Penrhyn and owner of the Penrhyn Estate. On his death in 1808, his cousin George Hay Dawkins, who subsequently adopted the name Dawkins Pennant, inherited the Estate. His daughter Juliana and her husband, Edward Gordon Douglas, were named as co-heirs of the estate on his death on the condition that they took the surname Pennant.
The paintings have been accepted by Welsh Ministers through the Acceptance in Lieu scheme from the Trustees of the Penrhyn Settled Estates.
The paintings include works of international significance such as Philip Wouwerman’s Conversion of St Hubert, portraits of major figures including Sir Samuel Pennant, Lord Mayor of London 1749, Sir George Hay, and Edward Gordon Douglas Pennant and others associated with the Penrhyn Estate. The paintings are integral to the story of Penrhyn Castle and it’s estate. 
Welcoming the news, Ken Skates said:
“Penrhyn Castle has a well known history and this collection has a significant historical association with the Castle. I am pleased that this offer in lieu will contribute to telling the story of Penrhyn and enhance the experience of visitors to the Castle.”

Justin Albert, National Trust Director for Wales said: 
“The Trust is extremely grateful to the Welsh Ministers for agreeing to the allocation of these fantastic works of art and allowing their residence at Penrhyn Castle.
The collection being transferred is of immense significance for Wales, our heritage, for the National Trust and for Penrhyn, and we are delighted that they have been saved for the nation and we have been entrusted with their keeping. These pieces are a vital final part of a jigsaw that will enable visitors to connect with the story of Penrhyn. 
We are confident that the 100,000-plus visitors a year to Penrhyn will greatly appreciate these works being displayed and derive immense enjoyment through seeing them.” 

Since the 1937 National Trust Act, and the 1953 Finance Act, the National Trust has been able to accept houses and chattels in lieu of tax. Penrhyn Castle was accepted by the Treasury in lieu of death duties and now belongs to the National Trust. Its unique collection has been preserved in situ and over the years has been acquired for the nation to access and enjoy. The survival of a great house’s furnishings is important for the historical context and indicates the tastes and lifestyles of the occupants and their changes in fortunes and fashion across the generations.
The Acceptance in Lieu (AIL) scheme enables taxpayers to transfer works of art and important heritage objects, such as the Penrhyn Paintings, into public ownership in full or part payment of their inheritance tax. In Wales, these items must be approved by the Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, who is advised by the Acceptance in Lieu UK Panel. 
The Panel consists of independent experts, who seek specialist advice on the objects offered. The Panel operates on behalf of the Welsh Government in Wales and co-ordinates with the Museums Archives and Libraries Division in appropriate cases.
The AIL Panel Chairman, Edward Harley said: 
“The Acceptance in Lieu Scheme has again played a vital role in securing a further important portion of the contents of Penrhyn. The portraits and other paintings which have now been accepted and allocated by the Welsh Ministers to the National Trust will, I am sure, delight the many visitors to North Wales and enrich their enjoyment of this great house.”