The Old Baginton Hall
Great Fire at Baginton Hall - October 9, 1889.
Intelligence was received at Coventry on Monday morning about twenty minutes to eleven that Baginton Hall was on fire. All that the messenger, a groom named Everitt, could say, for he was breathless with hard riding, was that a cask of paraffin had caught fire in the lamp room, and that the flames were spreading rapidly. Inspector Wyatt, who was on duty at the police station, telephoned immediately for four horses from Mr. Camwell's to horse the steam fire engine, and despatched all the available constables to call the members of the Fire Brigade. In about five minutes the steamer was ready to start, and Deputy-Captain Liggins who had been fetched from a meeting of the Market Hall Committee, took command.
The news of the fire spread quickly, and a number of persons set out on foot for the scene. The Coventry Fire Brigade reached Baginton about five minutes past eleven, and the serious nature of the conflagration was at once seen. It would appear that the petroleum for the use of the entire house is stored in the basement underneath the drawing-room, the cellar being so dark that a light is required when any work is done therein. About ten o'clock on Monday morning one of the men was getting a supply or oil, when it caught fire, and the cellar was instantaneously in a blaze. The flames soon broke out from the storeroom windows in the basement, under the breakfast room, at the east front of the building. Already the servants, assisted by the neighbouring farmers, ware busy removing the valuable oil paintings, the grand old furniture, and other treasures. The plate, which is very costly, was early removed to a place of safety. Amongst the foremost arrivals to render assistance was the rector of the parish, the Rev. B. G. Gronow, Messrs. Hulme (Village Farm), E. Lucas, Captain-Commandant of the Leuville Life Saving Brigade (Home Farm), J.Bostock (Baginton Lodge), Barnwell (Baginton), Grimes (Bubbenhall), Hawkes (Stoneleigh), & c. Immediately after the arrival of the Coventry Brigade, a detachment of the I Battery 2nd. Brigade Royal Artillery, galloped up to the Hall, from the Coventry Barracks, under the direction of Lieut. Younge Bateman, and energetically set to work in removing the furniture from the upper stories. The lawn in front of the house, with its splendid avenue of trees stretching away down parallel with the Bubbenhall Road, was piled with a miscellaneous assortment of goods from the interior of the Hall. Pictures, books, a large billiard table, dining and drawing room suites were quickly handed out through the large windows on the ground floor and hastily deposited on the terrace.