Fire guts 300-year-old listed building in Marshchapel

The Old Hall (formerly The Hall) is a grade two listed building which dates back to 1720.
The Old Hall (formerly The Hall) is a grade two listed building which dates back to 1720.
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A grade two listed building in Marshchapel dating back nearly 300 years was gutted by a fire on Tuesday night.

At one point eight fire crews were on the scene at the Old Hall in Sea Dyke Way after initially being called shortly before 6pm.

Crews were in attendance until well into the night damping down the flames and roads were closed to traffic for a number of hours.

Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue believe the cause of the fire was ‘radiated heat from a chimney’.

Marshchapel’s parish councillor Edward Mossop said: “This is very sad, I feel very sorry for the owners and it was a sad scene as I drove past this morning.

“I was only looking at it a week or so ago and it looked beautiful. In the 1960s it was an absolute wreck and a lot of work has been done on it.

Fire crews from Louth, North Somercotes, Binbrook, Alford and Humberside were all involved in the fight to tackle the blaze which has caused severe damage by fire, water and smoke.

The Old Hall (formerly The Hall) is a grade two listed building which dates back to 1720.

Grade two listed buildings are defined as ‘nationally important and of special interest’.

According to VisitorUK.com The Old Hall was actually built in 1720 on land which belonged to Sir Joseph Banks, explorer and naturalist, who accompanied Captain Cook to Australia.

“The first owners were the Loft family. William Loft was an MP for Grimsby, and Loft Street was renamed Victoria Street at the Golden Jubilee,” said the site.

“Another William Loft sunk one of the first artesian wells in the district in 1794, lined with beautiful hand-fashioned copper tubing; it still exists.

“Mary Loft, who died in the late 1700s, had 19 children, all of whom died during infancy - the sad row of little graves can be seen in Marshchapel churchyard.”

“I hope it can be brought back to how it was,” Coun Mossop added.

Officers from East Lindsey District Council are working with the owners of The Old Hall.

Staff from the council’s Building Control team, in conjunction with Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, have been on site overnight and again this morning to assess the damage and ensure any imediate dangers to the general public are addressed.

The council’s senior conservation and design officer Robert Walker said: “Clearly our immediate concern has to be people; the owners having to cope with the immediate and long term effects of the fire and minimising the risk to those on site or having to go on site to help the owners sort things out.

“Once the building has been made safe we will be able to assess the damage and in consultation with the owners and their Insurers be able to decide on the best course of action .

“A priority is to make the building structurally sound and wind and weather tight to prevent further damage within the constraints of the Listed Buildings legislation and also helps with drying out as water can exacerbate the damage caused by the fire.”

English Heritage said they were ‘very concerned’ that such a historic building has been damaged.

“We work with local councils to provide support and advice,” said a spokesperson.

Did you witness the fire? Email your thoughts, and any pictures of the building either before, during or after the fire, to sam.kinnaird@jpress.co.uk.