Northern Ireland

Florence Court thatched summer house destroyed in fire

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Media captionThe fire at the Florence Court estate was reported on Thursday evening

A thatched summer house at the Florence Court estate in County Fermanagh has been destroyed in a suspected arson attack.

The fire at the National Trust property near Enniskillen was reported at about 20:30 BST on Thursday.

Four teenage boys - one aged 14 and three aged 15 - were arrested in connection with the fire. They have since been released on bail.

The garden house feature had a wooden frame and a thatched roof.

A sign has been put up at the estate that says: "We want to assure all our visitors that we will rebuild the summer house and it will rise again as a beautiful feature in the garden."

Image caption The wooden structure was destroyed in a fire
Image copyright NAtional Trust
Image caption The thatched summer house was in the grounds of the Florence Court estate

In a statement, the National Trust said Florence Trust would be open to the public this weekend.

"Sadly last evening, our summer house at Florence Court was totally destroyed by fire. Most importantly no-one was injured in the incident," Jim Chestnutt, National Trust manager at Florence Court said.

"This news is devastating for the staff and volunteers who love and care for Florence Court, one of our most beautiful places in Northern Ireland.

"However, as a conservation charity we are committed to looking after these special places for ever and the team at Florence Court is confident that the summer house can be fully restored."

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