Tag: fire

Arsonist jailed for Wythenshawe Hall “mindless attack”

Jeremy TaylorA Baguley man who caused millions of pounds worth of damage to historic Wythenshawe Hall in an arson attack has been jailed.
Jeremy Taylor, aged 28, of Hall Lane, Baguley was sentenced today to four-and-half-years after setting fire to the Grade II list building last March

He previously pleaded guilty to arson.

The court heard how shortly before 3.30am on Tuesday 15 March 2016, Taylor used newspaper and matches to start five separate fires around the Tudor manor. Continue reading “Arsonist jailed for Wythenshawe Hall “mindless attack””

New milestone in bid to restore Wythenshawe Hall to former glory

Pic: twitter/@manchesterfire

Work on driving forward the restoration of fire-hit Wythenshawe Hall to its former glory is expected to begin in the spring of next year following the submission of planning application.

If planners give the green light, work will begin to rebuild the clock tower, and repair the roof and the exterior walls of the hall, which was badly damaged by fire in March.

The planning application is expected to be referred to the government for approval . Manchester City Council has been working with partners with their advisors  Conservation Architects, Engineers, Surveyors and Historic England, who will will ask the Secretary of State to endorse their recommendations.

Planning approval is necessary to officially permit the repair work because some elements cannot replaced exactly like-for-like. This is because conservation guidelines and practices have changed since the last repair programme undertaken in the 1950s.

Damaged timbers that remain sufficiently strong will remain. Those that aren’t will be salvaged as much as possible with new timber spliced in or bolted adjacent to the original material.

The fire will become part of the building’s official history, in line with current conservation best practice.

If planning consent is approved, and once a suitable contractor with the appropriate heritage skills is appointed, work on the Hall is expected to commence in spring 2017.

The insurance company is working alongside the council to determine the detail of the works and who will be appointed to do them. Subsequent applications will follow in relation to the proposed interior repairs.

Wythenshawe councillor, Sue Murphy – deputy leader of Manchester City Council, said: “So much work has gone on inside the Hall to protect it and salvage anything of architectural value, but it’s so heartening to reach a point where the repairs to the exterior of the building can begin.

“This is an important milestone for the local community who rallied to support the effort to save the property and the visible signs of the repair work will be a comfort to those who thought the fire could be the end for Wythenshawe Hall.”

Richard Jackson, chair of Friends of Wythenshawe Hall, said: “The Friends of Wythenshawe Hall have been on a roller coaster of emotions since March when it seemed as if Wythenshawe Hall may have suffered terminal damage in the fire.

“Now with the path to full restoration already well underway. The Friends would like to thank all those who have put so much effort into making sure the Hall in the not so distant future will open its doors to visitors once again.

Charles Smith, Heritage at Risk Principal in the North West said: “We are delighted that Manchester City Council has acted so proactively and positively following the tragic fire at Wythenshawe Hall, one of Manchester’s last surviving timber framed buildings. We look forward to being consulted formally on the planning application ahead of major repair works starting next year.”

Monthly events set to continue as work on fire-hit Wythenshawe Hall moves into the next phase of restoration

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The bell tower on Wythenshawe Hall has been safely removed to make way for a new temporary roof to be craned onto the historic fire-damaged building, as work begins on the next stage of its restoration.

The new roof will protect the building from the elements to allow the wooden sections of the property to dry out.

Since the fire at the Hall last month, an emergency tarpaulin has been used to protect the building while essential structural and archaeological works were completed inside.

The installation of the new temporary roof this week is the final piece of the substantial scaffolding structure that has been erected around the fire damaged area of the Hall and follows weeks of delicate conservation work inside the property.

These works will allow the building to breath and the timber frame to dry out properly and naturally as recommended by historic building specialists, including Historic England.

As part of this remedial work, the bell tower of the Hall was also craned off in a single piece to allow a seamless covering of the hall’s damaged roof.

The bell tower was rebuilt in the 1950s as part of a programme of repair work and its core is a more contemporary steel framed structure clad in timber. This meant that the tower did not collapse into the building during the fire and resulted in much less damage than would otherwise have been the case.

Since the fire, engineers have stabilised the property ensuring it is safe to work inside, while a team of archaeologists have been sifting through the debris in the building and recording, protecting and preserving as much original material as possible.

Now the immediate emergency works are well underway, proposals for the long-term recovery of Wythenshawe Hall will be put forward, working closely with the friends’ group and project partners.

Wythenshawe councillor Sue Murphy, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “A huge amount of work has already gone into helping protect Wythenshawe Hall, most visibly the scaffold cocoon that is helping to stabilise the damaged areas of the property and will support the new temporary roofing.

“Inside, countless hours have been spent making sure anything that can be saved is saved. Everything from the largest pieces of furniture that were on display in the building, to the smallest artefacts being unearthed by highly-trained archaeologists.

“It will be a long road to recovery for the building, but working with our partners and the friends’ group, we will see Wythenshawe Hall back to its best.”

Paul Selby, Deputy Chair of the Friends of Wythenshawe Hall, said: “It’s been a rollercoaster few weeks for the friends’ group, but thankfully we are safe in the knowledge that the Hall has been saved, it is now stable and a dedicated team are on-site salvaging anything and everything that makes the property distinct.

“The hall’s insurance has allowed us to invest in a permanent marquee that will allow our monthly events to continue in the grounds of the Hall, and our ambition is to return to the iconic front of the building as soon as possible.”

Despite the fire, The Friends of Wythenshawe Hall group have continued their open days at the Hall using the nearby Courtyard Café as a temporary venue

Easter fun and frolics goes ahead despite Wythenshawe Hall fire

A devastating fire, wind and rain didn’t stop the Easter fun organised by the Friends of Wythenshawe Hall yesterday.

Despite the blaze which wrecked the roof and first floor of the historic Tudor building, their Easter Monday eggstravaganza went ahead as planned in the Courtyard and park.

Youngsters and grown-ups enjoyed a visit from the Easter bunny and were entertained by the Ukuhalee Ukulele band  and  a host of other activities

Continue reading “Easter fun and frolics goes ahead despite Wythenshawe Hall fire”

First images of Wythenshawe Hall fire damage released as fundraising bid tops £4,000

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The first images showing the extent of the damage caused by the devastating fire at Wythenshawe Hall have been released as efforts continue to raise cash to restore the building to its former glory.

The first floor of the Tudor hall was badly damaged in the blaze which started in the early hours of March 15.

A Just Giving page has been set up by the Friends of Wythenshawe Hall which so far has raised more than £4,000.

And supporters are pressing ahead with a special day of free events  on Easter Monday, 28 March, from midday until 4pm, moving the attractions into the grounds of the Hall.

Events will include Punch and Judy shows throughout the day, and young visitors can fill their baskets during a treasure hunt or try their creative eye with the Easter themed craft table. For music lovers, the dulcet tones of the Ukuhalee Ukulele band will provide the perfect soundtrack to the bank holiday.

Local people are invited to share their stories of Wythenshawe Hall as the friends group regale visitors with their passion for the historic property, sharing the history and their own memories of the Hall.