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Wythenshawe Hall Repairs May Take 2 More Years
You may remember back in March that stunning Tudor building Wythenshawe Hall in Manchester was deliberately targeted in an arson attack, an incident that saw its first floor and roof destroyed.
More than 50 firefighters and ten fire engines were called out to the site – home to the Tatton family for nearly 400 years, having been built in around 1540 – to tackle the blaze. Although the majority of the items inside the hall were thought at the time to have been removed from the building a few months before the fire, significant damage to some antiques was still sustained.
And now, according to the Manchester Evening News, it could be another two years before Wythenshawe Hall reopens to the public, with repair work still going on now to fix the £5 million damage caused by arsonist Jeremy Taylor.
He used newspaper and matches to light five individual fires around the manor and was jailed in August for four-and-a-half years after pleading guilty.
Paul Selby, vice-chairman of the Friends of Wythenshawe Hall group, explained to the news source that it isn’t as easy as it could be to go out and find the materials needed for the repair work, since it needs to be a special kind of oak with special notches in it to fit in the building.
“Since the fire, the hall has been systematically taken apart inside. The fire crews did an amazing job putting the fire out, but obviously there was a lot of water left inside.
“It’s taken a long time, but the hall has finally properly dried out now and work to repair the structure is underway. Once the reproduced stain glass windows are in, we can finally start putting the roof back on, and once that’s done, the scaffolding will come down and people will be able to see the hall again,” Mr Selby went on to say.
The Hall itself has a very rich history – and it’s certainly worth paying the site a visit once it reopens to the public. There was even once a siege of Wythenshawe Hall in November 1644, where the house was surrounded by a small parliamentarian force. Those inside were able to defend themselves until February the following year but surrendered after a cannon was fired at the house and damaged parts of it near the dining room!
Robert Grenville Tatton was the last Tatton to live in Wythenshawe Hall, coming under pressure from Manchester Council which wanted to buy the lands to develop a new Garden City. In 1926, Tatton opted to sell his house and lands because of death duties and rising debts, with Lord and Lady Simon purchasing both the hall and park, donating it to the city to benefit the people of Manchester.
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