18.8.17 Wythenshawe Hall fire: Man jailed for arson attack


The man who set fire to a 16th Century Tudor mansion, leaving it partly destroyed, has been jailed.

At its height, 50 fire fighters tackled the blaze at Wythenshawe Hall in Greater Manchester on 15th March 2016.

The roof and upper floor of the Grade II-listed timber-framed hall, built in 1540, were left completely gutted.

Jeremy Taylor, 28, of Cheadle Hulme, admitted arson and was jailed for four-and-a-half years at Manchester Crown Court.

Taylor had initially pleaded not guilty and was due to stand trial, but changed his plea in July.

In sentencing Taylor, Judge Martin Redlands described it as "a single act of selfish folly".

After the sentencing hearing, Gary Logan, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said Taylor started the fire "for reasons only known to himself".  He was prosecuted after DNA and CCTV evidence linked him to the crime, he added.

The stately home is owned by Manchester City Council, which is partly funding the repairs, along with money from insurance and charity fundraising.

Repair work was progressing slowly and the lengthy process must be approved by Historic England.

Unique stained glass windows damaged in the fire were also being replaced.

Story collated by Liz Turnbull.

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