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Monday, 20 June 2011

Peckforton in Peril

I was very sorry to hear about the horrific fire at Peckforton Castle yesterday. Mercifully, no-one appears to have been hurt, although one wing of the building appears to have been badly damaged. Peckforton was built by Lord Tollemache in the mid-1840s in the Gothic style; it was designed by Anthony Salvin. In Cheshire, the fad for Gothic architecture began in the early 1800s; Cholmondeley Castle was probably the first Gothic mansion, built by George Cholmondeley, the fourth earl, from 1801-4.

By the 1850s the Gothic revival was still going strong, and Peckforton Castle was featured in the Illustrated London News (26 April 1851). A reporter who explored the castle felt that it 'more than rivals Conway for its size and position'. Its apartments were 'splendid' but decorated 'in accordance with the most pure taste and refinement'. I hope Peckforton can be restored to its former glory.
Image: Peckforton Castle, Illustrated London News (26 April 1851). Author's collection.

2 comments:

Southerner said...

Hi Sue. Just read your post. I'm afraid I have never heard of Peckforton Castle before. I immediately googled some images. It looks fantastic. I hope they find the money to restore it after this terrible fire.

It left me a with a cold feeling. I often drive past David Garricks Villa beside the Thames at Ham on my way to teach in some of the schools I go to. It was virtually destroyed by fire about six years ago. The shell is left. It has been covered by a tarpaulin tent ever since. There is a reconstruction company working on it apparently but I never see any signs of activity. I wonder if they have the money to continue restoration? It was a magnificent Georgian villa. and of course it's history is very important.
These old buildings are very susceptible to fire.

Just remembered Hogarths House was damaged by fire a couple of years ago but I think work is continuing with restoring that. That is at Chiswick about six miles from me.I've promised Vic at Jane Austen's World a post about Hogarth house once it is open to the public again.

Thanks for this post.

All the best,
Tony

Sue Wilkes said...

Dear Tony,
Peckforton is not on the tourist trail as it is privately owned, which is perhaps why you haven't heard of it before. I am sorry to hear about Hogarth's and Garrick's villas - I must have missed those news stories.