A BRIDEGROOM suspected of starting a fire which ripped through the historic Peckforton Castle in a row over the wedding bill has been remanded in custody.

Max Kay, 36, of Waylands Drive in Hunt’s Cross, Liverpool, appeared at South Cheshire Magistrates’ Court in Crewe charged with arson intending to destroy or damage property and to endanger life, and also the alternative charge of arson being reckless as to whether life would be endangered.

He is alleged to have started the fire in the castle’s drawing room in the early hours of Sunday.

No-one was injured in the incident.

After initial assessments, the damage could be in excess of £3m.

Just after 4.30am, the fire alarm sounded and barman Paul Heany went to check the drawing room.

As he opened the door, he said he was thrown backwards by the backdraught force of the blaze.

Andrew McInnes, defending, said property developer Kay, a dad-of-two, was ‘a family man’ who should be granted bail.

Chairman of the bench Paul Eite remanded him in custody until he appears at Chester Crown Court on July 26.