Basildon Park crash causes £50,000 damage to gate

Basildon Park entrance gates
Image caption The driver who caused the crack in the gate has not come forward

A National Trust mansion in Berkshire has closed to the public after a large vehicle crashed into its gates.

It is thought it will cost £50,000 to fix the Grade I listed gates at Basildon Park in Goring-on-Thames.

The driver has not come forward, which property manager Amanda Beard has called "shameful behaviour".

She added the large crack in one of the Bath stone columns, built in the 1840s, made it unsafe for visitors but that the house should reopen by the weekend.

A nearby resident had alerted the managers of the Palladian house to the crash on Tuesday morning after hearing a loud noise and then the bleeps of a reversing vehicle.

Ms Beard said the loss of earnings would be in the thousands and that she felt "disappointed" for visitors who were planning a half-term trip to the estate.

Repairs are due to take place later, which includes reconstructing the pillar.

Damage to the pillar has made it, and a heavy statue on top, unstable.

Image caption The damage is estimated at £50,000

Police have told Basildon Park to appeal for witnesses.

Ms Beard said the repair bill would most likely be paid by the National Trust and its insurance company.

Basildon Park is an 18th Century mansion that was the setting for the 2005 film version of Pride and Prejudice, starring Keira Knightley.

The house, surrounded by parkland, was rescued from ruin by Lord and Lady Iliffe in the mid-1950s.

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