An alert member of staff (who should get a especially generous Christmas bonus this year) saved Floors Castle near Kelso from a potentially devastating fire. The largest private house in Scotland was designed by William Adam in the 17th century and then ‘gothicised’ in the 19th century with the addition of many pinnacles.
Smoke from the fire in the private living area of the Duke of Roxburghe, who wasn’t in residence at the time, was spotted and the fire brigade called. They made their way through the thick smoke and extinguished the blaze which had started in a freezer and had spread to the lath and plaster wall. Luckily damage was limited to one room with minor smoke damage to a few surrounding ones.
Fire has been a constant danger to country houses with many over the years being reduced to a smoking ruin within hours. Fire is the most devasting way to lose a house as usually the historic and beautiful contents are destroyed as well. Thankfully in this case disaster was averted but it again shows the value of having staff in residence who are able to take swift action.
Full story: ‘Castle saved by ‘quick actions” [BBC News]