It's been more than a year since a devastating fire tore through Parnham House, destroying the Grade I listed stately home.

The once-grand 16th Century house in Beaminster was ravaged by fire in April 2017. Its owner, Michael Treichl, was found dead in Geneva two months later.

Mr Treichl, who had been questioned by police about the fire before his death, had submitted plans for a temporary spiral staircase to allow safe access to the first-floor areas of the staff accommodation wing, which cannot be accessed internally due to the extent of fire damage.

But, 12-months on, the work has not yet been carried out – and the building’s future appears to be uncertain.

Parnham House dates back to the 1500s, when it was acquired by Richard de Strode during the reign of Henry VI, and is considered to be one of Dorset’s oldest and most important stately homes.

It is understood the house has been privately owned and was occupied following renovations in 2009. The site was acquired by Richard de Strode during the reign of Henry VI, on his marriage with Elizabeth Gerard.

Then, following the marriage of Robert Strode with Elizabeth Hody in 1522, an existing house on the site was rebuilt. The Strode family remained in occupation until 1764 when the male line failed.

The estate then passed to Sir John Oglander of Nunwell, Isle of Wight. In the early 19th century, Sir William Oglander returned to Parnham, commissioning John Nash to renovate and improve the house in 1810. In 1896 the last member of the Oglander family died, and Parnham was sold to Vincent Robinson who housed his art collection in the house.

The estate was purchased in 1911 by Dr Hans Sauer, who undertook extensive work on the interior of the house, and laid out new formal gardens inspired by those of Montacute, Somerset.

Dr Sauer remained at Parnham only until 1914, when the property was sold to Mr Rhodes-Moorhouse for his son, William, who was killed during the First World War. William Rhodes-Moorhouse, was the first airman to be awarded the Victoria Cross. His son, also called William, was a Battle of Britain pilot and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. After claiming 12 combat victories, his Hurricane was shot down in a dogfight over Kent on September 6, 1940. The body of the young officer, who died aged 25, was recovered and his ashes were later interred beside his father at the family’s Parnham estate.

Following the First World War, Parnham was used as a country club and was sold again in 1930 to Edward Bullivant, who returned it to domestic use. During the Second World War it was requisitioned for use by the US Army. In 1955/6, when Bullivant’s son moved to Anderson Manor, Dorset, the estate was divided, and the house converted into a nursing home. From 1973 Parnham stood empty for three years until it was purchased in 1976 by the furniture designer John Makepeace, who converted the stables and coach house to workshops and ran his school for craftsmen in wood in the house.

The house was again sold in 2001 and the site reverted to single, private ownership.