15.4.17 Shocking images show Parnham House devastation, after massive fire engulfs Grade I listed building

31-05-2017

The blaze was immediately identified as being suspicious by Dorset Police and by Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service.

A multi-millionaire banker is understood to have been arrested and released following a fire which gutted his 500-year-old Grade I listed mansion.

Investor Michael Treichl, 68, was questioned on suspicion of arson by detectives from Dorset Police and has since been released pending further investigations.

Around 100 fire fighters attended the huge blaze at Parnham House in Dorset, which initially broke out at 4am on Saturday April 15th and took four days to extinguish completely.

Nobody was injured in the fire but the Elizabethan mansion in Beaminster, just south of Yeovil, is reported to be completely gutted.

On April 15th Detective Inspector Andrea Power of Weymouth CID said: “An investigation is currently underway to establish the cause and the circumstances around the blaze. We are treating the fire as suspicious”

Dorset Police subsequently announced the arrest of a 68-year-old Beaminster man and two days later said the suspect had been released “under investigation.”

No bail conditions are believed to have been imposed.

As well as being a country club in the 1930s, it was also used by US troops during the Second World War.

Parnham House was described as "architecturally brilliant" in a 2009 Dorset Life article.

It was home to the Strode family, prominent aristocrats, for about 200 years.

It was later used as a country club and nursing home. In 2001 it was refurbished by a private owner.

Much of the current design was created in 1810 by John Nash, an architect who worked on the 19th Century enlargement of Buckingham Palace.

Story collated by Liz Turnbull.

Resources used:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04/15/fireman-battle-huge-fire-stately-home

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04/22/millionaire-banker-questioned-fire-500-year-old-grade-1-mansion

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-dorset-39664242

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