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Fire-ravaged Allerton Castle rebuild begins

The rebuilding of Allerton Castle has begun just two weeks after the North Yorkshire Grade I-listed stately home was ravaged by fire.

Both English Heritage and Harrogate Borough Council have stepped in to help secure listed-building consent for the Gothic Revival building in a bid to hasten reconstruction.

According to the castle's trustees, the Gerald Arthur Rolph Foundation for Historic Preservation and Education, the council has agreed selected works 'as a matter of urgency'.

English Heritage has sent structural engineers to the site to advise on the scale of the damage and how the castle, built in 1851, can be restored.

A spokesman for the trustees stressed 'issues surrounding retrospective applications for listed building consent will be submitted later'.

A public statement made by Allerton Castle's owner Gerald Rolph said: 'Initial feedback is very promising in terms of building capacity and work required in areas to be occupied by clients for events.'

Cleaning of the Great Hall, which at 24m high is one of the highest baronial halls in England, has already started. Fortunately, the billiard room, drawing room and ballroom escaped virtually unscathed and require minimum attention.

According to its website, Allerton Castle is the premier Gothic Revival stately home in England. It was designed for Prince Frederick, Duke of York and brother to King George IV. It has been owned by Rolph, an American businessman, since 1983.

by Clive Walker

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