A MAJOR blaze ripped through a 19th Century mansion leaving it seriously damaged.

Around 75 firefighters tackled the blaze at the Grade II-listed Alston Hall in Longridge, which broke out at around 10.40pm on Wednesday.

The majority of the gothic-style building, which was under renovation, was destroyed by the fire.

The fire service said the cause of the blaze is still under investigation.


Watch manager Neil Hardiman said: “The fire was well-developed when we arrived.

“The majority of the building has been destroyed, it’s quite dangerous, but we managed to save the chapel at the front and the tower at the rear.

“We managed to save most of the ground floor but the second and third floors are severely damaged.”

A total of 10 fire engines were sent the scene as they battled overnight to put out the flames.

Around 35 firefighters were still at the scene yesterday morning.

Water was collected from ponds and streams near the house to help fight the blaze.

The building is privately owned and their family and friends came to show their support to them.

One family member said: “We’ll come back stronger.”

Fire service spokesman Richard Edney said nobody was seriously injured in the incident.

He said: “There have been no injuries apart from one person suffering a minor ankle injury.

“There were people at the site when we were called and before we turned up one person had slipped in a panic trying to get out the property.”

Alston Hall, designed by architect Alfred Darbyshire, was built between 1874 and 1876 for colliery owner John Mercer.

It remained a family home until 1949 when the hall was sold to Preston Council for use as a Day Continuation College.

In 1974, the hall was bought by Lancashire County Council who converted it to a residential training centre.

It was sold last year to a private buyer.