Manchester

Chaddock Hall fire: Boys held over suspected Worsley arson attack

Chaddock Hall Image copyright GMFRS
Image caption The Grade-II listed building was once owned by wealthy landowner Derrick Cunliffe

Seven boys have been arrested after an historic 17th Century country house was gutted in a suspected arson attack.

The derelict Chaddock Hall in Worsley, Greater Manchester, was destroyed when the fire broke out on 4 December.

Once owned by Salford millionaire landowner Derrick Cunliffe, the Grade II-listed building had been earmarked for refurbishment.

The boys, aged between 11 and 15, were arrested on suspicion of arson and bailed until 30 January.

Derrick and Monika Cunliffe got married in 2001, six months after she answered an advert in The Lady magazine to become mistress of Chaddock Hall.

Disabled Mr Cunliffe died in 2002, and Mrs Cunliffe was later awarded £600,000 by a High Court judge.

Mrs Cunliffe, German by origin, was awarded the money after the judge ruled her husband had failed to make reasonable provision for her in his will.

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