Lyme Park in Cheshire, the location which was used as Mr Darcy's Pemberley in the iconic 1995 BBC production of Pride and Prejudice, has had to be closed after 'significant' flood damage.Lyme Park flooded last Wednesday (July 31st 2019) when streams and ponds at the estate in Cheshire burst their banks. Paths, walls and fences were washed away, while a tractor had to tow cars out of the flooded visitor car park, and staff raced to protect the house itself; using sandbags to successfully stop the water from entering the building and damaging antiques.
There was constant heavy rain, falling on to waterlogged ground and adding to volumes of water in all the streams, ponds and lakes. Rain just kept building and building up, then at 4pm things suddenly went from manageable to panic. We were running around with sandbags as streams and ponds were bursting their banks and water was coming up through the drains. The rain washed away a 30-metre stretch of dry stone wall that has stood for at least 300 years, and some big veteran trees have just given way because there is so much water around the roots. There is a beech tree which was probably 150 years old and an oak up to 250 years old.The clean up operation is currently underway but it is no small job so may go on for some time. As such, at present it is unknown how long the estate will be closed for, but the National Trust have said that it will remain closed until at least the end of this Friday (Friday 9th August).
Chris Dunkerley, Lyme Park Lead Ranger
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