Dorset

Parnham House fire: Arrested man released over suspected arson attack

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Media captionThe stately home was left badly damaged by the fire

A man arrested after a 16th Century stately home was severely damaged by fire has been released.

Fire crews were called to Grade I-listed Parnham House in Beaminster, Dorset, at about 04:10 BST on Saturday.

It was confirmed to have been fully extinguished on Wednesday morning. It is not believed anyone was inside the property at the time of the blaze.

A 68-year-old Beaminster man arrested on suspicion of arson has been released "under investigation", police said.

The force previously described the blaze as "suspicious" and said the house was likely to be cordoned off for some time to allow investigators to examine the scene.

Image copyright John Gurd
Image caption The fire was confirmed as fully extinguished on Wednesday

Parnham House was described as "architecturally brilliant" in a 2009 Dorset Life article.

It was home to the Strode family, prominent aristocrats, for about 200 years.

It was later used as a country club and nursing home. In 2001 it was refurbished by a private owner.

Much of the current design was created in 1810 by John Nash, an architect who worked on the 19th Century enlargement of Buckingham Palace.

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