The Great Fire

Near midnight it was discovered that a fire was raging near the tower in the top bedroom at Fryston Hall the seat of Lord Houghton.

Messengers were at once dispatched to Pontefract, Wakefield and Whitwood for the fire brigades and speedily the Pontefract engine was on the spot, unfortunately the engine could not be got to work for some time owing to the scarcity of piping to connect the engine with the fishpond south of the hall and in the meantime the fire was spreading rapidly along the upper range of bedrooms in the front portion of the hall,

Ultimately the engine being bought into the stable yard was connected to a well, but in fifteen minutes was pumped dry.

The roof fell about four o'clock in the morning.

In the meantime more assistance had arrived from Castleford and Whitwood and the fire engine from the former was at once connected with the river Aire, north of the hall and may fairly be said to have saved the portion of the hall at the rear, about seven o'clock the Wakefield engine arrived at Knottingley and was conveyed to the park at Fryston by horse's sent from the hall and in conjunction with the engine from Whitwood was placed on the banks of the river and played upon the massive burning oak beams in the old mansion completely over coming the ravages of the fire, and checking it before the next portion of the hall had taken hold.

There was considerable breakage of furniture, however in the upper rooms in getting it out of the upper windows. All the furniture and books were placed on the lawns south and west of the hall and were protected by a large body of the West Riding Constabulary from Castleford, Pontefract and adjacent village of Ferrybridge, Brotherton and a Newton.

No cause can be be assigned for the origin of the fire, The total damage is estimated at between £3000 and £4000.

From Sheffield independent 18/11/1876
Last updated 01:10 - 19th January 2014
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