Henderson Manager's Historic Mansion Burns

Apr 18 2012 | 11:53am ET

Richard Pease's 400-year-old country estate was destroyed by fire on Monday evening, just months after the Henderson Global Investors hedge fund manager bought it.

Newland House, which Pease paid £2.1 million for in December, was completely gutted by the raging blaze. The 10-bedroom home, about 140 miles west of London in the Forest of Dean, was unoccupied; Pease had been renovating it.

It took only hours to destroy the 17th-century home. The fire, which threw up 30-foot flames, began at about 9:30 p.m. and needed about 50 firefighters working deep into Tuesday morning to bring it under control.

"Fire crews have been tackling this fire all night but, unfortunately, the building has been completely gutted," Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Services said.

Pease visited the devastated site yesterday, as the investigation continued.

"It's awful," Terry Haile, a councillor for the Forest of Dean District, said. "That building has so much history. There's no saving it now though."

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