Wayward golfers in blitz on historic hall

Sharon Jones at Samlesbury Hall
Sharon Jones at Samlesbury Hall

Donald Campbell’s Bluebird was built there, but now drivers of a different kind are crashing into Samlesbury Hall.

Jet-powered golfers at a an adjacent practice range, built on the spot where Campbell’s world record-breaking hydroplane was constructed, have been peppering the 14th century house with wayward shots for the past 16 years.

But now the row has escalated all the way to court after the charity which runs the historic hall applied for an injunction to stop the blitzkrieg from the neighbouring Samlesbury Driving Range.

The trustees lost their application before a judge last week on a technicality. Hall director Sharon Jones admitted: “It’s been a nightmare. I’m terrified someone is going to get hit.”

Sharon went to court after a golf ball “skimmed” the head of an elderly blind volunteer in the grounds of the hall. A car also had its windscreen smashed by a stray shot, forcing staff to close off an area of the grounds occupied by beehives and a heritage garden.

“I was so worried that we sectioned that part of the drive off, shut a gate and started directing all visitor traffic through the main entrance,” explained Sharon. “We own the land and the driving range has a lease. We asked them to put a fence up or turn the bays so we aren’t in the firing line. But we’ve had nothing back.”

Bluebird Golf, who run the golf range, declined to comment.