Fire tears apart ‘beautiful’ Grade I listed 11th century church and destroys its thatched roof

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Fire destroys ‘beautiful’ Grade I listed 11th century church after ‘a spark during repairs set its thatched roof on fire’

  • Beachamwell Church in Norfolk caught fire during repair work
  • Residents said a welding spark ignited the thatched roof, sparking the huge blaze
  • Six fire engines were dispatched and the blaze is now ‘under control’










A fire has ravaged a magnificent 11th century in Norfolk, completely destroying the thatched roof of the Grade I listed building.

The blaze started after a spark from welding work ignited thatch in Beachamwell, according to local reports.

Six fire trucks were sent to tackle the blaze which is now “under control”.

A fire has ravaged a magnificent 11th century in Norfolk, completely destroying the thatched roof of the Grade I listed building

The blaze started after a spark from welding work ignited thatch in Beachamwell

The blaze started after a spark from welding work ignited thatch in Beachamwell

Six fire engines were dispatched to tackle the blaze which is now

Six fire engines were dispatched to tackle the blaze which is now “under control”, a spokesman said.

“We will have a presence on site for the rest of the day at least,” added the spokesperson.

John Sanderson, an 87-year-old who lives in the village, said residents were “devastated”.

‘The whole roof is gone. I think all that’s left is the walls,” he added.

“I have just returned from the supermarket and saw police cars driving down the road. When I returned I was told the church was on fire,’ Mr Sanderson said.

Historic England, a public body, said it was “saddened” by the news, adding that the building is “a rare example of a thatched-roof medieval church”.

Flames ripped through the church and black plumes of smoke were sent into the surrounding area

Flames ripped through the church and black plumes of smoke were sent into the surrounding area

John Sanderson, an 87-year-old man who lives in the village, told the PA news agency that residents were

John Sanderson, an 87-year-old who lives in the village, told the PA news agency that residents were “devastated”

Historic England, a public body, said

Historic England, a public body, said it was “saddened” by the news, adding that the building is “a rare example of a thatched-roof medieval church”.

It is understood the church was closed for repairs when the fire broke out today

It is understood the church was closed for repairs when the fire broke out today

Firefighters later said they

Firefighters later said they were “scaling down” their response and thanked residents for their patience.

Structural engineers have also been sent to the church to assess the steeple and its two bells, which each weigh a ton.

Structural engineers have also been sent to the church to assess the steeple and its two bells, which each weigh a ton.

“We are liaising with the church and local authorities and will seek to support them,” he added.

It is understood the church was closed for repairs at the time of the fire.

The fire department later said it was “scaling down” its response and thanked residents for their patience.

Terry Pinto, manager of the Norfolk Fire and Rescue group, told the Eastern Daily Press: ‘It was a devastating fire for the community.

“Unfortunately when we arrived the roof was fully involved in the fire and it had already spread to the main church building so it was a matter of damage control and trying to stop the impact on the wider community and environment.

]#';An anonymous worker said he and two others worked on the roof before the fire and said it was rotten

]#’;An anonymous worker said he and two others worked on the roof before the fire and said it was rotten

The round church tower is considered one of the oldest in Norfolk and is the only remaining of four that once served the area.

The round church tower is considered one of the oldest in Norfolk and is the only remaining of four that once served the area.

“Many irreplaceable items will unfortunately be lost in the fire, which is a real shame.”

Structural engineers have also been sent to the church to assess the steeple and its two bells, which each weigh a ton.

An unnamed worker said he and two others worked on the roof before the fire and said it was rotten.

The round church tower is considered one of the oldest in Norfolk and is the only remaining of four that once served the area.

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