Uphill Manor reopens after ‘devastating fire’

The Grade II listed Uphill Manor B&B in Weston-Super-Mare has reopened, after recovering from a “devastating” fire in 2016 that left it closed to the public for 18 months.

The B&B said the reopening was made possible by a pay-out of almost £5m by business’ insurer NFU Mutual, and added the property has been “brought back to its former glory” through an “extensive reinstatement project” that gathered some of the best restoration specialists from across the country.

At 10.55pm on Sunday 31 July 2016, the Avon Fire and Rescue service received a call from a member of the public who could see fire and smoke coming from the property. A rescue pump was on the scene by 11.08pm, to find fire and flames coming from a first floor window at the rear of the manor.

Most of the damage was caused by the 60,000 litres of water used by firefighters to put out the blaze, and the smoke, which spread through the entire property and destroyed the historic ceiling and wall paintwork throughout the interiors.

Owner of Uphill Manor, Craig Kennedy, said: “It’s difficult to put into words the feelings of shock, fear and sadness we experienced upon receiving a phone call to say that our home and livelihood was on fire. I initially thought it was a hoax as the fire service asked whether the premises was empty, and so hung up on the first caller.

“It was only when we started receiving countless calls from our children, neighbours and friends that it really started to set in. We jumped in the car for what felt like the longest drive home of our lives.”

He added: “When we got there, there were crowds of people surrounding the grounds as we all helplessly watched the building burn and collapse. Once the fire had been contained we were able to retrieve some belongings. It was a tough evening for us all.”

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