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Fire-ravaged Allerton Castle reopens at last

Allerton Castle, one of the most important Gothic Revival stately homes in Britain, which was gutted by fire in January 2005, has finally reopened to the public.

Nearly half of the Grade I-listed house in North Yorkshire was destroyed in the inferno (ajplus 26/01/05), causing millions of pounds worth of damage.

Fortunately, no one was injured in the devastating blaze, which took 100 firefighters almost two days to put out.

Restoration of the landmark, which is owned by American businessman Gerald Rolph, is expected to continue until Christmas.

However, visitors are being invited into the castle to see how the project to return the mansion to its former glory is progressing.

Designed by London architect George Martin, the Gothic mansion was built between 1848 and 1851 on the site of the former home of Prince Frederick, the Duke of York and brother to King George IV.

The surrounding park, in particular the hill on which The Temple of Victory stands, is also believed to have been the inspiration for the nursery rhyme 'The Grand Old Duke of York'.

by Richard Waite

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