Work has began to restore a Sheepridge mansion house gutted by a fire two months ago.

The 450-year-old New House Hall is undergoing restoration yet again.

But for the first time in its history, it’s not just for general renovation and to preserve the Grade II* listed building.

It was extensively damaged by fire in April with most of the windows blowing out and the roof damaged.

Firefighters, including an aerial appliance, tackled the blaze for around 12 hours and the roof has been left uncovered so it was significantly water damaged as well.

The Von Mickwitz and Lowe family, who bought the neglected building 43 years ago, have had to consult a series of specialists to help them rebuild their home.

New House Hall fire, Sheepridge. Residents Darrolyn and Christopher Von Mickwitz.
New House Hall fire, Sheepridge. Residents Darrolyn and Christopher Von Mickwitz.

Darrolyn Von Mickwitz’s son Diccon Lowe, who lived in the west wing of the house with his partner Penny and their children, said: “Myself and my family have found temporary accommodation and my parents are still camping out in the garden because they want to be close to the house.

“Lots of planning goes in before anything can be done to the property.

“Specialists have to try to preserve anything left that’s important and every little thing has to be recorded properly. It’s a slow process.

“Work has already begun to clean out the less affected areas and work to secure the property, such as covers on the windows and the roof, is beginning next week.”

Historic England, the public body that looks after England’s historic environment, are advising the family how to tackle the massive project.

Wilde Architects, a multi-disciplinary service based in Stockport, and ArcHeritage, a specialist archaeological and heritage practice based in Sheffield, have been commissioned to do the bulk of the work.

ArcHeritage sub-contracted Aerial-Cam to create a 3D model of the damage using photogrammetry.

Taru Sinclair, Darrolyn’s daughter, had launched a crowdfunding campaign to fund the project and it has raised £3,000 so far.

“We’d like to thank everyone who has helped us even if it was just through their lovely messages of support on wooden boards outside the property,” Diccon said.

New House Hall dates back to 1550 when it was built by Thomas Brook I whose initials can still be seen carved into the fireplace.

The Von Mickwitz and Lowe family will update the public on the restoration work via