Protected £4million early 18th Century manor in Wiltshire is destroyed by massive blaze

A stunning 300-year-old country manor house has been destroyed in a huge blaze – despite firefighters battling through the night to save it

– Nonsuch House, a 10-bedroom 18th Century house in Wiltshire went up in flames
– Around 75 firefighters were sent to the scene to extinguish the fire last night
– The property is believed to have been built in the early 1700s as a hunting lodge
– The manor was listed for sale in October 2020 with an asking price of £4million

A stunning 300-year-old country manor house has been destroyed in a huge blaze – despite firefighters battling through the night to save it.

Nonsuch House, a 10-bedroom 18th Century house in Westbrook, Wilts., went up in flames shortly before 7pm last night.

The £4million manor, which was given Grade II listed status in 1962, was engulfed in the fire for several hours before it was brought under control.

The picturesque property, built in the William and Mary style, was destroyed in the blaze despite the efforts of more than 75 firefighters.

Fire crews from across Wiltshire, Hampshire, Gloucestershire and Somerset were tasked with fighting the fire – most remaining on scene overnight.

In a statement released shortly after the incident began, Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service said: ‘At 6.59pm this evening our Service Control Centre received the first of multiple 999 calls to report a property fire in Westbrook near Bromham.

A stunning 300-year-old country manor house has been destroyed in a huge blaze – despite firefighters battling through the night to save it

Nonsuch House, a 10-bedroom 18th Century house in Westbrook, Wilts., went up in flames shortly before 7pm last night

The original building is said to have been built on the site in 1646 for the English diplomat Lord John Digby, supposedly as a hunting lodge. Pictured: The house before last night’s fire

The original building is said to have been built on the site in 1646 for the English diplomat Lord John Digby, supposedly as a hunting lodge. Pictured: The house before last night’s fire

The property was put on the market for £3.9million in October 2020 with the estate agent Carter Jonas

‘Firefighters quickly requested support and we currently have 15 fire engines, three water carriers and an aerial ladder platform at this incident (approx. 75 firefighters).

‘Crews are dealing with a significant fire in a large property.

‘The A3102 has been closed and will remain closed overnight while we deal with this incident.

‘At this stage it is not known how the fire started. A full fire investigation will be undertaken once the incident is under control.’

In a later tweet, the fire service said: ‘We have reduced our attendance at this incident overnight.

‘There are approx 20 firefighters on scene and the A3102 remains closed while we deal with this incident. A fire investigation into the cause will begin as soon as it is safe to do so.’

According to Historic England, which keeps entries of listed properties, Nonsuch House was built in the early 18th Century.

The original building is said to have been built on the site in 1646 for the English diplomat Lord John Digby, supposedly as a hunting lodge.

The estate passed to William Norris (1656-1730), a diplomat who served as an ambassador to the sixth Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.

Norris rebuilt the house after 1705. It belonged to the Norris family until 1835, the Meredith-Brown family 1849-1920.

The alterations were carried out for the Bankier family, owners 1923-30. It is not clear who owns the property at the moment.

However the property was put on the market for £3.9million in October 2020 with the estate agent Carter Jonas.

In its listing, the estate agent wrote: ‘Nonsuch comprises a small rural estate centred around a beautiful William and Mary house, a property that was originally built as a hunting lodge, possibly as early as 1645.

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