THE owner of a historic house featured on a Channel 4 television programme has been left devastated after thieves stripped £20,000 worth of antiques from the property.
Heath House, in Tean, which was featured on Channel 4’s Country House Rescue, was targeted by thieves on Saturday, October 21.
Police were called to the estate in Hollington Road by owner Ben Philips who has transformed the ageing house into a successful wedding and events venue following its appearance on the television programme in 2010.
A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: “Offenders entered the building between 6.30pm and 11pm on Saturday, October 21.
“They stole property worth around £20,000 including four clocks, a large silver mirror and an oak table.
“We are investigating and anyone with information should ring Staffordshire Police on 101, quoting incident number 819 of 21 Oct.
“Alternatively they can contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.” Mr Philips told the Advertiser that at the time of the thefts a wedding was taking place at Heath House.
He said: “We think it must have been wedding guests or someone who knew them. The thieves just seem to have driven up to the front door which unfortunately was unlocked and taken what they could.
“My aunt was around the corner when we think it happened and heard a door closing and said hello but heard nothing more.
“The police have asked for the names of the guests from the last wedding so hopefully something may come of that.”
It has been a difficult 18 months for Mr Philips after he lost both his father John and mother Flavia shortly after they had appeared on Country House Rescue.
This latest setback has been particularly upsetting and Mr Philips has appealed for the public’s help in catching the culprits.
“It is very distressing,” he said. “The items stolen are of sentimental value for example the silver framed mirror was a wedding present to my great-grandmother in 1904.
“We have been really trying to make a go of this as a business so it is really disappointing.
“I have been ringing around local antique shops and dealers and making sure they are aware of what has gone missing if someone attempts to sell them.
“We are getting locks put on all the main reception doors to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
“I would appeal for anybody who may be able to help with information to come forward.”