Fire destroys roof of historic Wythenshawe Hall in Manchester

media captionSmoke could be seen rising over the historic property

Fire has badly damaged a 16th Century hall in Manchester destroying the roof and causing extensive damage to an upper floor.

The blaze started in the roof of Wythenshawe Hall at about 03:30 GMT, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) said.

More than 50 firefighters tackled the "serious blaze" at the Tudor hall.

Five fire engines are still at the scene as an investigation is under way into the cause.

The timber-framed hall was built in 1540 and was home to the Tatton family for about 400 years.

image copyrightGreater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
image captionFirefighters tackling the blaze on Tuesday morning

Warren Pickstone, from GMFRS, said: "We are doing everything we can to save as much of this building as we can.

"The fire is in the roof and is difficult to access but we have specialist resources at the scene and we are doing our best."

He said the historic clock tower was also on fire, adding: "So far we believe we have lost the roof and the first floor."

The hall was donated to local people in 1926 and was previously run as a museum and art gallery.

image copyrightGreater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
image captionFirefighters hosed down the roof of the hall

History of Wythenshawe Hall

image copyrightDavid Dixon/Geograph
  • Wythenshawe Hall was built around 1540 by Robert Tatton of Chester
  • The timber-built hall is now owned by Manchester City Council
  • The hall and the surrounding 250 acres of park land were given to the city by Lord and Lady Simon in 1926
  • It was an art gallery and museum until its closure in 2010
  • The Friends of Wythenshawe Hall volunteer group was established in 2012 and the building is now open to visitors again
  • It is a Grade II listed building
image copyright@Manchesterfire
image captionAn aerial photograph shows the extent of the damage to the Tudor-era hall
image captionThe roof and the first floor of Wythenshawe Hall have been badly damaged in the blaze

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