BELL MURRAY AFGHAN HOUNDS IN WALES
(By Lyall Payne and Steve Tillotson December 2013 - updated June 2015)
1. Bell Murrays In Scotland
Previously documented breed history informs us that the Bell Murray Afghan hound
kennels of Major Bell-Murray and Miss Jean Manson (Cove Afghan hounds) were located
in Kirkpatrick-Fleming, Dumfrieshire, Scotland, and that is correct, see the links at the bottom of this page with photos
of the hounds and people at Cove House in Kirkpatrick-Fleming.
2. Bell Murrays move to Wales
How do we know that the Bell Murrays moved to Wales? - because the Major was visited at his home in Wales in 1930. See below
To the best of our knowledge, it has never previously been documented or reported that the Bell-Murrays were located in Wales for a while, so this is a very exciting discovery by Lyall. Posted 12th December 2013 .
***Update #1 June 16th 2015
Regarding the reference to "wrongful conviction" in the press cutting above. see the associated Major Bell Murray Page for details
***Update #2 June 16th 2015
In 1928 Graham Bell-Murray, his family, Miss Manson and the kennel would leave Cove behind and set up in Rhayadar, Radnorshire in Wales. I (Lyall) have not been able to establish if Graham worked during this period, but he did spend time in London. He later explained to a newspaper reporter that he maintained a kennel of 60 dogs in Wales.
3. Confirmation from Wales (Rhayader Library) and some key dates
Steve contacted the Librarian at Rhayader Library (T.G.B. Lawrence), who kindly undertook some research of local newspapers of the era and provided AHT with some news snippets and dates, as follows -
- March 1928 . Bryntirion Hall, Rhayader has been purchased by Major Bell Murray C.I.D. (retired Indian Army) . Major Murray is one of the most noted breeders of dogs in the country. (AHT note - the date fits perfectly with newspaper reports uncovered by Lyall that confirm Major and Mrs Bell-Murray and Miss Jean Manson moved, along with approximately 60 houinds to Rhayader and now we have a confirmed date for the move to Wales)
- May 1928 - In May 1928 the house was purchased by a Mrs Helen Massey for pounds sterling 8,525 who turrned the Hall into a Hotel.
- July 1928 The largest collection of Afghan Hounds in Britain is probably owned by Miss Manson, now residing in Rhayader. (AHT note - That was undoubtedly true, no other kennel of that era housed 60 Afghan hounds).
- February 10th 1932 -Messrs Burton and Son were instruced to sell by auction on Wednesday, February 10th 1932 the valuable furnishings and appointments of Bryntirion Hall.
We still have a lot of research to do into the Welsh period, so watch this space
Major Bell Murray Page
Bell Murray Cove House, Scotland
The Mysterious Cove House Photo
The Dog Of The Mystic East, Jean Manson 1929
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