A PUB which has been empty for over a decade has been set on fire.

The Raven Inn on Swanlow Lane in Darnhall was set ablaze on Friday night (October 20).

A large emergency service presence was called to the scene, with Cheshire Police shutting the road off whilst firefighters tackled the flames.

Police currently believe that the fire was started on purpose.

A spokesperson for the force said: “At around 8.10pm on Friday October 20, police were called to assist Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service with road closures following a fire at a disused building in Swanlow Lane, Darnhall.

“The fire is believed to have been started deliberately at this stage.”

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Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service sent three engines to the scene, one each from Winsford, Middlewich and Lymm stations.

The crews were joined by an aerial ladder platform from Chester.

Firefighters used two main jets and two hose reel jets to tackle the flames, which CFRS say was “well developed” in the roof space of the former pub.

A full road closure was put in place on Swanlow Lane while the fire was dealt with, in order for crews to make use of the aerial ladder platform.

It is understood the road reopened late on Saturday afternoon.

The Raven Inn is believed to be one of the oldest pubs in the Vale Royal.

It's name comes from the Corbett family, long-time residents of Darnhall Hall whose family crest was the raven.

The pub was formerly a gamekeeper’s cottage but has been mentioned as an alehouse as far back as 1631.

However, it closed down in 2007 and has remained empty ever since.