ARTISTS whose intricate carvings of Oxfordshire landmarks were left to gather dust in storage will finally see their work bask in the light of day again – with a little help from the Oxford Mail.

A team of 11 carvers spent an entire year crafting three breathtaking wooden panels in 2007, gifted to Oxfordshire County Council to celebrate the county's 1,000th anniversary as part of an Oxford Inspires competition.

The Ox and Bucks branch of the British Woodcarvers Association painstakingly sliced shapes into lime wood, depicting the dreaming spires of Oxford, Blenheim Palace and Cropredy Bridge among others.

The group toured it round the county on request of the Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire, ending at the county council building's foyer in 2011.

It was taken to Oxford Castle in 2013 under the premise of providing it a permanent home - where it has since sat rejected in storage, much to the dismay of crestfallen carver Brian Eastoe who enlisted his local paper to help.

The 82-year-old Drayton resident said: "The castle said they would display it in the reception. We were later told they were not wanted and to collect them.

"They seem to have lain forgotten in the store room at the castle.

"We have nowhere to put them and these carvings don't belong to us anyway – they were a gift to the people of Oxfordshire. They took hundreds of hours to make.

"Before we gave them away I personally took them to 12 locations around Oxfordshire and our visitor book is full of good feedback. One compliment is even signed by a retired master carver of St Paul's Cathedral."

After probing the council, the Oxford Mail was told that the panels, which measure five foot by four foot, will finally be rehomed.

Owen Morton, spokesman for the council, said: "Unfortunately owing to the preservation order at the historic site Oxford Castle, and the size and weight of the panels, it wasn’t possible to find a suitable place for them to go on show.

"We are now making arrangements for Mr Eastoe’s gift to return and are pleased to confirm it will go on display once again – either at County Hall or another building in due course."

The panels are framed in sleek mahogany with brass plaques explaining the history of each of the 15 landmarks.

Names of every Oxfordshire town are carved at the top, waving across the wood to represent the ripples of the River Thames.

After hearing the good news, Mr Eastoe added: "Somebody somewhere is going to be told to find them a home which is the main thing."

He hoped they might be displayed in Oxford Central Library once it moves from its temporary home in the Castle Quarter.