Page last updated at 09:29 GMT, Tuesday, 18 May 2010 10:29 UK

Fire guts part of Ellingham Hall in Northumberland

Ellingham Hall fire
The roof of the chapel was completely destroyed during the fire

Part of an historic Northumberland country house, which dates back to the 17th Century, has been gutted by fire.

An investigation is ongoing into how the blaze started in a chapel attached to Ellingham Hall, near Alnwick.

More than a dozen guests were led to safety from the main building as crews struggled to bring the fire under control.

Northumberland Fire and Rescue service said they were working with police to discover the cause.

Staff were alerted to the fire by smoke alarms.

Ellingham Hall was built by Sir John Haggerston and was later used as a refuge for Catholic priests during the reformation.

More recently it was used as a preparatory school for boys before being purchased by the current owners in 1995.

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