A feathered friend caused havoc for the Baroness of Kiddington and her family at their stately home near Blenheim.

The baroness's son, the grandly titled The Honourable EM Robson, was enjoying a relaxing evening in front of the elegantly decorated dining room when an old bird's nest dropped into the hearth.

It quickly caused flames to erupt from the chimney and the fire spread rapidly, engulfing ancient timbers and expensive furnishings. But a full-scale disaster was prevented by Robson who tackled the blaze until firefighters arrived.

Ashworth Mairs Group's special adjusting unit is carrying out a clean sweep of the grade II-listed Kiddington Hall.