Then and now - Daresbury Hall manor, built in 1759 fell victim to an arson attack on Saturday 25th June 2016 which completely destroyed the interior of the building. The photo below taken last year was part of my two-piece documentary project on the site that has been derelict since its owner died two decades ago. Planning permission had been granted earlier this year to build 31 homes on the site and part demolish most of the outbuildings. Restoring a manor of this size to its former glory would be a costly ordeal, leading to suspicion of the cost-saving advantages that would warrant the 'accidental' destruction of this brilliant grade II listed building, potentially allowing the plans for redevelopment to be brought ahead far sooner than expected. In layman's terms: this wasn't just a bunch of kids playing with fire.
It deeply saddens me how daresbury Hall has been treated since its owner left it behind some 20+ years ago. After the cannabis farm siege and numerous vandalism incidents the site has never been given any level of security. With the area deemed one of the more up-market villages in the town, I have to say that the listed status has reluctantly held back any potential developers and incidents like this are all too convenient for the land to progress to the next stage of conversion for new properties and the entire removal of its historical value. Whilst countless people have been allowed to wander the site scrounging any kind of valuable materials and ruining what was once such a great part of daresbury village, I now realise I was lucky enough to document this place before the inevitable was allowed to happen.