PECKFORTON Castle director Chris Naylor said he is determined to put the blaze drama behind him.
Chris, one of four members of the Naylor family who bought the historic Cheshire venue five years ago, is hoping the damaged areas can be restored to their former glory as soon as possible and the family is already preparing for the castle to reopen to the public.
He said: “We came in on Monday morning, we had no power and no water. We knew that people would be trying to contact us so at first it was a case of using a mobile phone plugged into the car charger.”
Chris said: “We have structural engineers in at the moment, so we should find out soon if there are any issues with that, and naturally English Heritage will be involved as well.
“I would be surprised if we are fully operational in less than six months, but we are doing everything we can to make sure events do go ahead.”
The whole family has been devastated by the fire, which destroyed about a quarter of the castle.
“I feel massively upset by it, as does the whole family. It’s our life, really.
“This business was borne out of my wife and I getting married here in December 2005 and it was a fairy tale, really.
“To be the custodians of such an architectural gem is a real honour. I still have to pinch myself when I think that it is still ours.
“I am hoping that my son will one day take it on, like I did with my dad before me – and to think that a large proportion of it was damaged in such a reckless way is so upsetting.
“To see the damage now, it’s amazing that no-one was hurt. It’s all thanks to the hard work of the fire service that so much of it was saved.”
Chris also says that the support the family has received from the public has been overwhelming.
“People have been fantastic,” he said. “I had 400 emails to sift through on Sunday afternoon alone.”
Many posts on the castle’s Facebook page have expressed concern for the bat colony and birds of prey.
Chris was only too happy to allay their fears.