FIRE AND RESTORATION OF STOKE ROCHFORD HALL
On the morning of 25 January 2005 a gardener spotted smoke coming from behind the clock tower at Stoke Rochford. A serious fire had broken out in the roof. It would take three days and 20 fire crews to bring it under control. Roofs and floors collapsed throughout the main part of the mansion. All the public rooms, most of the teaching rooms, part of the conservatory and the library were destroyed. Smoke and water caused further damage although, thankfully, the north wing was largely spared. Despite forensic investigations, the cause of the blaze remains a mystery.
The mansion was designed by William Burn for the Turnor family in the 1840s. After the fire, English Heritage and planning officers insisted that the grade 1 listed building be restored to its original glory. The restoration had continually posed a dilemma between trying to preserve the heritage and meeting modern-day standards.
The expert crafts people who put Stoke Rochford back together did a spectacular job. The way the panelling was redone and the ceilings recreated were absolutely magnificent. The stonework and chimneys are tremendous and the library looks fantastic. Stoke Rochford Hall took advantage of the £12 million restorations to bring improved facilities and greater comfort to Stoke Rochford. The event and conference rooms are equipped with the latest audio-visual technology and 12 beautiful en-suite bedrooms were created in addition to the three refurbished bedroom suites.
Amazingly, Stoke Rochford reopened for business just eight months after the fire, with the north wing and outbuildings adapted to host meetings and conferences, and a large marquee and terrace added to