THE last Tudor bed in existence, which was made to mark Henry VII’s accession to the throne, will go on display at a historic North-East castle next week.

The 527-year-old Paradise State Bed of Henry VII and Elizabeth will go on display in the Music Room at Auckland Castle, Bishop Auckland, from Wednesday, August 7.

It was lost to academics and the public until it was rediscovered by Ian Coulson in 2010.

Henry Tudor, who became Henry VII, defeated Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field to take the English throne and found the Tudor dynasty.

The Paradise State Bed is an unrivalled masterpiece of 15th Century oak carving which was commissioned almost immediately after Henry VII was crowned to celebrate his marriage to Elizabeth of York and the end of the War of the Roses.

The bed is covered in detailed carvings demonstrating the power and wealth of the new king. The headboard depicts Adam and Eve in likeness of the King and Queen, surrounded by the fruits of paradise which symbolise fertility and the couple’s hope for an heir.

In the 19th century the bed was in the possession of Antiquarian George Shaw. Mr Shaw created a neo-Tudor replica of the bed and additional furniture for the Duke of Northumberland complete with the arms of the Percy family. One of the mirrors of this set will be at Auckland Castle to tell Shaw’s story of replica and forgery.

The decision to exhibit the bed at Auckland Castle came about through a partnership with historian Dr Jonathan Foyle.

Auckland Castle was the palace of the Bishops of Durham for more than 900 years and last it opened its doors to the public for the first time as a major heritage attraction.

Dr Christopher Ferguson, head curator at Auckland Castle, said: “Auckland Castle is already home to many important works of religious and secular art, such as the seventeenth century paintings of Francisco de Zurbaran.

"We’re delighted to be able to showcase this historic treasure, the only remaining piece of early Tudor state furniture, here in North East England.”

The Paradise State Bed is the subject of a BBC4 documentary, Secret Knowledge: The King’s Lost Bed, on Tuesday, August 6 at 8.30pm.

The Paradise State Bed will be exhibited at Auckland Castle until 30 September, 2014. The castle is open every day, except Tuesday, from 10.30am to 4pm. For further details and admission prices, please visit