16th century stately home in Dorset gutted by ‘suspicious’ fire

Crews worked tirelessly to put the fire at Parnham House out, say the Dorset and Wiltshire fire services

Chantal da Silva
Saturday 15 April 2017 20:07
Comments
Parnham House, built in 1522, was consumed by flames in the early hours of Saturday morning
Parnham House, built in 1522, was consumed by flames in the early hours of Saturday morning

A fire that gutted a Grade I listed stately home is being treated as “suspicious”.

Firefighters were called to Parnham House in Beaminster, Dorset in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Dorset Police said the blaze caused significant damage to the 16th century home, which is presently owned by an Austrian hedge fund manager.

Officers do not believe anyone was inside the property and say there are no reports of any injuries.

“At this stage the cause of the fire is unknown, however, police are treating it as suspicious and an investigation is underway,” a police spokeswoman said.

Craig Baker, area manager for Dorset and Wiltshire Fire Service, said in a tweet that 20 pumps were used at the scene, as well as an aerial ladder platform and water carrier.

He added: “A devastating fire, crews have worked tirelessly. Remains a big firefighting operation!”

Parnham House is described as an “exceptionally important mid-C16 house” by Historic England.

It was originally built in 1522 for Robert Strode and Elizabeth Hody and was renovated in the early 1800s.

The property was purchased by furniture designer John Makepeace in 1976.

The designer ran his School for Craftsmanship in Wood at the house.

In 2001, the mansion was bought by Michael and Emma Treichl, who still own the property and carried out an extensive renovation after purchasing it.

In recent years, the couple had been opening the property’s gardens to the public for the annual East Dorset Food Fair.

Emma also opens the gardens for people to enjoy during their visit. This year it will be held on Saturday and Sunday 17 and 18 October.

Lost Heritage says it is the fifth stately home to be damaged by a fire in six months.

It lists Cosgrove Hall in Northamptonshire, Kelsale Hall in Suffolk, Alston Hall in Lancashire and New House Hall in Yorkshire as the five other homes that have been affected by fires.

Parnham House is the only one of the six to be investigated as suspicious, however.

Anyone with information related to the incident is asked to contact Dorset Police online or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Additional reporting by PA

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in