Tyne & Wear

Woolsington Hall fire treated as arson

Firefighters tackle the blaze
Image caption Woolsington Hall was completely destroyed in the blaze

A blaze which gutted a Grade II listed mansion near Newcastle, causing millions of pounds of damage, is being treated as arson.

The fire at derelict Woolsington Hall began sometime between 18:00 and 20:00 GMT on 29 December.

Thirty firefighters tackled the blaze after multiple fires were started "maliciously" inside the building, Northumbria Police said.

Officers said the incident was being treated as arson.

The oldest parts of the hall, which has been on Historic England's at risk register since 2002, date from the 17th Century.

In July, Newcastle City Council approved owner Cameron Hall's plans to turn Woolsington Hall into a hotel.

In 2008 Sir John Hall, whose company Cameron Hall has owned the property since 1994, was warned he needed to carry out urgent repairs or face an order for compulsory purchase.

Image caption The fire was started sometime between 18:00 and 20:00 GMT

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