A firefighter due to get married within weeks has seen his wedding venue go up in flames as he battled to control it along with other fire crews.
Firefighters were called to the Cottesmore Hotel, Golf and Country Club in Pease Pottage on Monday afternoon.
West Sussex Fire and Rescue estimate that 50% of the building was damaged.
Steven Mundy and fiancee Sophie Pratt said it was devastating to have seen their “perfect wedding venue being burnt to the ground”.
The fire broke out at 17:00 BST, with fire crews finding the building “well alight” on arrival.
Everyone who had been in the building – part of which was built by French prisoners of war in 1815 – was accounted for and there were no reported injuries.
The couple had no wedding insurance and are unsure if they will be refunded any of the money they have already paid for their wedding reception on 21 July.
Ms Pratt said: “We don’t want to postpone our wedding.
“We’ve been together nine years and are hunting high and low to find somewhere that will accommodate us.”
The fire was brought under control by about 21:30, and an investigation is under way as to the cause.
Fire crews have remained at the scene throughout the day damping down.
Martin Bolton-Smith, vice-captain of Cottesmore Golf Club, said: “There’s a lot of history. It’s devastating.”