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Fire at Allerton Castle

On the night of January 21st, 2005 a disastrous fire destroyed approximately one third of Allerton Castle, almost the entire terrace side including the service wing. Fortunately the centre third, which included the Great Hall, Great Kitchen and entire front third including the old Georgian Wing survived with minimal damage, except for the light wells over the Great Stairs and Fireplace.

The fire started in the chimney at the far end of the service wing then, as with the Windsor Castle fire a year earlier, it travelled down the entire length of the roof void and entered the main Gothic castle destroying almost everything between the walls from the ground to the sky. Unfortunately this included the Dining Room, State Bedroom complex and Venetian Bedroom complex, three of the principal rooms of the castle and severely damaged the Library. The heat of the fire cracked the 5,000 gallon cast iron water tank above the conservatory which flooded the area saving most of the conservatory and the adjoining Library.

The day following the fire Dr. Rolph publically committed himself and the Foundation he founded, to again restore the castle and meet his original commitment, made 18 years earlier in 1983 when he purchased the derelict structure, to restore and preserve it as part of English and world heritage. In January 2012, seven years after the fire, this work was almost completed and some of the story is recorded in the following sections and pictures.