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The Old Baginton Hall

Baginton Hall - The Great Fire - Page 3


Meanwhile the interior of the main block was being totally destroyed. Terrific crashes told of the falling in of portions of the roof and stout oak beams, charred to the core, crumbled away like matchwood. Nothing was left of the division walls of the various rooms but the bare red bricks, while outside the stone facing shelled off in large quantities making a near approach absolutely dangerous. The north wing, consisting of the drawing room, was not so badly burnt as the main portion, but here the leaden roof was peeled and warped in all manner of fantastic shapes. There was nothing more for the firemen to do but to direct their efforts to quenching the smouldering beams, for the fire seemed to have spent itself when the wreck of the main building was complete. Fortunately, the stables were at some distance from the Hall, and not in the direction of the flames.

At twenty minutes past two the Warwick Fire Brigade arrived with ‘Shand and Mason" steamer, with Capt. Devey in charge. They had received the call at 12 30, and lost no time in getting to the scene. The same difficulty that met the Coventry brigade presented itself, and it was some time before they could get their service to play on the building. The Hatton Brigade also arrived and gave their assistance. During the day a large number of people visited the scene from Coventry and the surrounding district, but the utmost good order prevailed. Supt. Wilson was present in charge of a strong body of the county police, augmented by members of the Coventry force under Inspector Golby. Inspector Hall, of Warwick arrived about midday with a further body of police.

Baginton Hall is the property of Mr Bromley Davenport, and the Warwickshire seat of the family, who, however, have not resided there for some years. It was let in June last to Mr W Sugden Armytage, who, with his wife and seven children, were at home on the outbreak of the fire. The children were in the nursery, situate in an upper storey, and were quickly conveyed away to the houses near. Mr Armytage remained on the scene throughout the whole day.

The Hall, which lies partly hidden by trees, is of a classic style, a good view of the east front being obtained from the road leading from Coventry to Bubbenhall. Across the fields from the same road there is a favourite footpath leading to Stoneleigh, and this passes directly at the rear of the Hall.

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