MORE than 80 firefighters battled a blaze at a historic manor house near Wantage after it was struck by lightning in 2012.

Fire broke out at the 16th century Fawler Manor, in Fawler, which belonged to the Blackwell family of Blackwells bookshop, shortly before 3.30pm on Saturday, August 25.

Part of the roof of the Grade II-listed building was destroyed but neighbours helped save the family’s belongings.

Also read: Protesters take to river over Thames Water dumping raw sewage 1,300 times

No one was hurt and it was believed Philip and Christine Blackwell, along with their children, were away.

One of the Blackwells’ neighbours, said: "It was struck by lightning, it hit the roof.

"They’re on holiday, but I think the sister was looking after the place. I know no one was hurt.

"The roof has gone, but the firemen saved half of the upstairs and the downstairs. The neighbours managed to get most of their possessions out."