TEN fire engines have been tackling a huge blaze at a Cheshire country house wedding venue near Tarporley tonight (Sunday, January 12).

Police had to close the A51 in both directions around Tilstone House in Nantwich Road, Tilstone Fearnall as fire crews from across the county arrived to tackle the blaze at the 19th century timber frame mansion, which was well alight.

There have been no reports of injuries.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service was first called to the scene shortly before 8.30pm.

Ten fire engines from Tarporley, Nantwich, Chester, Winsford, Crewe, Ellesmere Port and Northwich, along with an aerial appliance from Chester, have been tackling the blaze.

Four crews were initially dispatched to the scene and upon initial investigations firefighters found that the fire had spread to all three floors of the building.

Due to the scale of the fire, an additional six fire engines were dispatched to the scene along with an aerial appliance from Chester.

The building has been split into four sectors and firefighters, wearing breathing apparatus, have been using hose reel jets to tackle the fire from within the building.

Crews are also using a number of main jets to fight the fire from outside the mansion. An aerial appliance and main jet are also being used to extinguish the fire from above.

Firefighters are also undertaking salvage operation to help recover any furniture where possible.

All gas and electricity to supplies to the building have been isolated and the A51, Nantwich Road, is currently closed in both directions while firefighters tackle the fire.

According to the Tilstone House website, Tilstone House was first built in 1888 by Lord and Lady Daresbury and originally used as a hunting and shooting lodge.

The current owners of Tilstone House bought the house and grounds in September 1997, and a large number of people have still been employed at Tilstone House, including the housekeeper, cleaners, maintenance staff, chefs, gardeners and tradespeople.

It won a regional Quality Standards Award award in 2003 for the rebuilding of the West Wing.

In modern times, the venue has been used for weddings, christenings, parties and corporate events.