Historic courthouse partially collapses into river

By John Mercury October 9, 2023

Part of a historic court building has collapsed into a river in Cumbria.

The Old Courthouse in Cockermouth caved in on one side at around 5am on Sunday.

The back wall, roof and flooring fell away across three floors of the building and fell into the River Cocker below.

A police cordon is in place and the bridge over the river is closed.

The Grade II-listed building is around 190 years old and is now privately owned.

The Environment Agency said that although the building collapsed near the flood walls, the walls remain intact and the town’s flood risk has not increased as a result

Cockermouth has suffered multiple bouts of serious floods over the years, most notably in 2008 and 2009.

The Old Courthouse itself was evacuated and has been left empty after heavy rain nearly saw the back wall collapse in 2021.

No injuries and river ‘still flowing’

Cumberland Council said in a statement: “The Old Courthouse is an iconic building in Cockermouth and we share local residents’ sadness following the recent partial collapse of the building.

“We are working with emergency services and partners to do all we can to assess the damage and take immediate steps to protect public safety.

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“There have been no reports of any injuries and although some debris has landed into the river, the river is still flowing.

“A multi-agency response is now in place, and we will provide updates as soon as they are available.

“This is a privately owned building and has been an ongoing issue. We continue to work with the owner of the property, and partners.”

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