TROWBRIDGE councillors are calling for greater measures to be put in place to stop people vandalising the historic Courtfield House in Trowbridge after it was badly damaged.

Vandals broke into the Grade II listed building in Polebarn Road and set fire to the flooring, stole some heaters, broke the front door and smashed windows.

Councillors Graham Payne and Glyn Bridges said that Ashford Homes, which bought the building seven months ago, should have boarded the place up so people could not commit such a crime.

“I am very sorry to hear this news but we did warn the owners of the building that this could happen if it wasn’t looked after properly,” said Cllr Payne.

“Measures should have been taken to stop acts by undesirables. If they put plywood over the windows and doors or steel grilles, that could have helped.”

The vandalism at the house, which dates back to 1754, took place on April 18.

Glyn Bridges added: “More could have been done to make it more secure. This is such a historic building. It is very sad that this has happened.”

Ashford Homes’s development director, Tom Griffiths, said: “We are currently completing a comprehensive building condition survey which is a requirement of the forthcoming listed building planning application.

“The work specifically necessitates access to the building fabric to ensure historically significant features are documented and preserved within our proposals to renovate the building.

“We have been in discussions with Wiltshire Council to agree further security measures that will be put in place upon completion of the survey.”