Blaze hit Northamptonshire hall will feature on ‘at-risk’ list

Overstone Hall
Overstone Hall

A landmark building will feature in the annual catalogue of buildings at risk published tomorrow by an influential conservation charity.

Overstone Hall, a majestic Italian-style mansion set within a walled 40-acre park on the outskirts of Northampton, features on SAVE Britain’s Heritage’s list of 100 historic buildings in need of repair throughout England and Wales with the aim of attracting suitable people to take them on and restore them to their former glory.

A spokesman said: “Although the costs involved in restoring the Hall would be substantial, it would make a magnificent hotel, offices, or a truly grand country house.”

Overstone Hall was built in 1866 for the first Lord Overstone, and featured examples of cutting-edge technology including a central heating system, gas lighting and the earliest-known cavity wall insulation.

The house was designed by W M Teulon, younger brother of the renowned Victorian architect S S Teulon. The house has extensive parquet flooring and massive, elaborately carved exposed oak timbers.

Built of limestone ashlar with a slate roof, the garden elevation is dominated by an imposing square tower.

In 1980, after more than half-a-century as a girls’ school, Overstone Hall was bought at a knock-down price by the New Testament Church of God which occupied it until 2008.

In 2001 the northern half of the main building was badly damaged by fire and has never been restored. In 2010 it was put up for sale for £1 million, with no takers.

The fire which destroyed part of the beautiful Overstone Hall started in one of the upper rooms on the eastern side of the building.

Approximately 60 per cent of the building was gutted within 12 hours, destroying all of the best-loved features of the house, including its breathtaking wooden staircase and magnificent library, along with the elegant parquet flooring which graced the public rooms and corridors.

It boasted 119 rooms and is surrounded by a 40-acre park and grounds which contain three lakes, the old carriage block, walled garden and farm buildings.