Light Box high pressure sales at Camelot Castle Hotel by Ted Stourton

Lightbox victim speaks out on Trip Advisor after close escape from lightbox con of Ted Stourton and John Mappin.

Tripadvisor Review Lightbox HorrorLatest posting on Trip Advisor tells an interesting and all to familiar tale of high pressure techniques used to sell Ted Stourtons “art”

The only positives from the review seem to be some new duvets and mattress toppers (I wouldn’t recommend looking under the toppers!!) and some new bed linen and the fact you can take your Dog.

The Bathroom was disappointing, a little pod like creation, an obese person would probably have difficulty. was told on the phone that there were separate bathrooms on each floor with a beautiful victorian ‘roll top’ bath…Ha! Very very disappointing.

Well there’s the old portaloos, nice to see somethings don’t change!

Also looks like the old fire hazards of painted shut windows are still there.

The bathroom I found was a basic bath, no towel rail, no radiator, window wouldn’t open etc. None of the sash windows in the room would open, they were all painted shut.

This reviwer seems to have a sound grasp of the con they are pulling over Ted Stourtons art.

Dining room was also full of Ted Stourton’s paintings stuck with butterflies and with price tags of …wait for it…£15,000-£17,000.. also a big space empty space on the wall with a ‘SOLD’ sticker….I’m sure they could have put another pic up instead!!! HMMM, methinks it was a bit of ‘ I actually DO sell my paintings at this price and people actually DO buy them…NOT!

Ok here comes the full “Lightbox” experiance as told by the reviewers own words, does this seem like a normal way to conduct art sales, does it bring to mind some of the techniques used by the timeshare sharks of the 80’s and 90’s? Dear reader we’ll let you decide.

In the lounge there were albums of Ted Stourtons paintings and another small album full of people praising the ‘LIGHT BOX’. I have to say that I was intrigued. The staff were very sparing with the info they imparted about this particular ‘mystery’ and so I asked at reception about seeing it. one evening (BIG MISTAKE!!!) after returning from a local pub where mum and I dined out. .. The young chap at reception said he would see if Mr Stourton was available…..after a few minutes he emerged, dressed in a cream dinner suit with white polo neck, took my hand, kissed me on the cheek and told me how lovely I looked (also my mother) then took us downstairs into the bowels of the castle. We were brought into a room where we sat dowm=n and were told a sorry story about the hardship of artists, then brought into another room where our photo was taken,(which I believe will be sent to my e-mail address, have not checked yet as just got home) Then we were taken into a further room where a guitar was produced and we were serenaded with a song. Finally, the room with the light box. A black box with a dimmer light behind it. Very good effect, we were shown pictures whose perspective changed depending on the amount of light behind it. Mother and I were polite and made complimentary murmurings, as some of the effects were very good. HOWEVER…. after the showing Ted asked which pics we thought were the nicest and we innocently told him (there were 3 we liked,but not to buy). He then turned on the lights and started his sales pitch starting at around £ 1700…er…I was shocked, looked at my mother and felt totally SICK in my stomach. He had been so nice that I felt physicallly AFRAID to refuse…I spoke up and said I was a single mum in the NHS and did not have that sort of money. He completely disregarded my comments and just brought the price down and down until we felt compelled to say yes… as we ascended the stairs out of the underground rooms, RIGHT ON CUE, out came Mr and Mrs Mappin to congratulate us on our purchases, shaking our hands and telling us how very lucky we were to even have Mr Stourton staying at the Castle…..(er, he does actually live there…!!!) Anyway, we were told we could settle up before we left and staff would wrap them for us but I never actually wanted them and felt intimidated into agreeing to buying them.. On the day of leaving, I bundled all our stuff into the car, got the dogs in and went to pay for the room. They then got the pics, at which point I said I couldn’t afford them and did not want them. The chap at reception then said I should wait while he went to get Ted Stourton..I was TERRIFIED! I knew he would try to force me to buy them, so, on the pretence that I had to get something from my car, I fled!! (so fast that I still have the room key, which I’m sending back today.) I loved the Castle and surroundings but not the ‘light box;’ experience of hard sell. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

So there you have it in the words of one of the few to escape the lightbox YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

Lightbox Horroe Story
7 Responses to “Light Box high pressure sales at Camelot Castle Hotel by Ted Stourton”
  1. Jackie Francis says:

    I was so sorry to read about your bad experience at Camelot Castle Hotel/Ted Stourtons sales pitch.
    On a visit to the hotel for coffee as is one of my favourite places, I brought a couple of Teds prints near the reception desk. Ted appeared out of nowhere (I think the reception must have a bell under the desk) and invited my mother and I into the basement to view his lightbox.

    We too were serenaded – tour of workshop – light box showing and were to asked what our favourite painting was…. to which he proceeded to give a price etc etc. I replied that I wasnt in a position to buy a peice. It wasnt that i dont like his work because I actually find it beautiful (apart from the stuck on butterflies etc) but because I couldnt afford it. Ted then insisted that I have the picture as a gift and would not take no for an answer!

    I had the picture framed and since has hung at the top of my landing under a ceiling light – I love it. As for price – art to me is only worth what an individual is willing to pay for it – if I could afford it I would buy another of his peices (at a reduced price).

    I understand that you and others may have found him pushy – but I actually found it all very amusing and really enjoyed our little basement adventure.

    The only negative comment I would leave is that there coffee has suddenly doubled in price

  2. Pete says:

    Thank you for posting these reports, thanks to my smart phone I googled the ‘in’formous TS expecting something from wikipedia this morning… Something to explain the ravings from the two young eastern european girl and found your site.
    Again, as in the replies and articles. The famous TS who they said was travelling may be back in the country and if we were not in a rush could see his light box. Then as if by magic he came up to see us after the Jesus like Spill.
    I’m sure he has taken the money of many people,

  3. Jill Wood says:

    We bought a painting fromTed, after our light box visit, we thought he was so genuine. What a con, now we have a paainting that I cannot bear to look at, we feel so cheated.

  4. Christine says:

    My cousin’s and I experienced the exact same scenario two years ago. The experience frightened us as well and we felt very pressured to purchase his paintings. In fact, I didn’t think that we would be allowed to leave until we did. Two years later the painting remains rolled up in the back of my closet. It will never go on my wall and still makes me sick to think of the experience. I am embarrassed to have been conned by this man. Stay away – save your money. I recently attempted to post my negative but accurate opinions about Camelot Hotel on Trip Advisor and was not allowed. I have closed my account as a result of this.

  5. Crystal says:

    I have just left the Camelot hotel after being duped and coheres into buying a ghastly painting,I,m gutted as I would never buy this normally and am in dire straights money wise! I am never going back there it said free art exhibition

  6. Michelle Murphy says:

    Haha I really must chuckle at this as I was in tintagel that year and did visit Camelot, I did see some of teds works too Infact I cannot see how he could justify those prices even now! I am a creative myself but I am not in the pretentious world that some of these folks live in, anyway it was a nice little journey back to 2011, my honeymoon week in tintagel we stayed in a bungalow just down from Camelot enjoyed every minute 😊 thanks for te chuckle even though it’s six years on lol.


  7. C S says:

    Sadly all of this is true and as a single traveller a couple of years ago, I was charmingly bullied into buying a painting I could not afford, he just kept dropping the price until I had no choice but to give in – I’m about to take it to the tip as I have never been able to look at it…. makes me feel sick that I was so taken in by this strange man.

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