Sunday, 4 July 2010

Bleak House

We called it Bleak House - a large, grey stone farmhouse set by the Nene in the countryside just outside Wellingborough. Chester House (for that was its correct name) was austere but handsome all the same and we often wondered who lived there.
Well, sadly, no-one had lived there for nearly twenty years and maybe no-one ever will again for for we cruised past this week to discover it is just a charred shell - utterly destroyed.
The real tragedy is that this building - one of only 40 surviving unspoiled 17th century farmhouses and Grade II* listed as a result had, after sitting empty and on the Buildings at Risk register, been bought by Northamptonshire County Council for £900,000 and was nearing the end of a £250,000 restoration when it caught fire.
The massive blaze gutted it entirely and its future is uncertain.

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