Woolton Hall fire: Arson investigation launched

Woolton Hall fire Image copyright Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption Fire crews were called out shortly before 18:00 BST on Thursday

Police have launched an arson investigation after a fire in the grounds of a Liverpool country house.

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service were called to the blaze at Woolton Hall on Speke Road shortly before 18:00 BST on Thursday.

Firefighters found old wooden sheds well alight but stopped the blaze spreading to the Grade I-listed building.

Police said the fire was being treated as "suspected malicious ignition".

The blaze is now under control but crews and police remain at the scene.

A number of road closures were in put in place due to the volume of smoke, but all roads have since reopened.

Det Insp Phil Mahon said: "I would appeal to anyone who was in the vicinity of Speke Road who saw anything or anyone acting suspiciously to contact us."

Woolton Hall was built in 1704 and later restored by the architect Robert Adam.

It has been described as one of the most impressive buildings of its type in the North West.

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