Four teenagers arrested after iconic cottage gutted by fire

summer house fire


The iconic ‘Summer House’ at Florence Court has been completely destroyed after an arson attack on Thursday evening. The wooden framed structure with thatched rood was set alight at around 8.30pm and the blaze consumed it, leaving only ashes behind. Fire attendants and police attended the scene and the cause is currently being investigated.

Four teenage boys, one aged 14 and three aged 15, were arrested on Thursday evening, but were released on bail Friday morning pending further enquiries.


Speaking after the attack Jim Chestnutt, National Trust Manager at Florence Court said he and staff at the estate had been left ‘devastated’, but said he was relieved no one had been injured.

“People are devastated because it was a building very much loved by everyone who knows the estate. Visitors have been in tears and we have had so many messages of support this morning. It was one of the places people went to take photographs and I’m sure there are lots of photos of the house in photo albums, both here and further afield.”

Jim revealed that the Summer House is a replica of the original house which was put in the 1700s at the estate, which then disappeared in the 1930s. A replica was built at Florence Court just over twenty years ago back in 1993. Jim admitted the fire was a ‘blow’, but told the Herald all those at the Estate would do their best to ensure the house was rebuilt and restored to its former glory.

“This is a very sad event for National Trust staff and volunteers at the property, and for the thousands of visitors who visit Florence Court annually.

“This news is devastating for the staff and volunteers who love and care for Florence Court, one of our most beautiful places in Northern Ireland. However, as a conservation charity we are committed to looking after these special places for ever and the team at Florence Court is confident that the Summer House can be fully restored.”

To read more.. Subscribe to current edition

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere


The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA