BUILDERS evacuated one of Harwich’s oldest homes as the chimney stack collapsed.

Renovation work is ongoing at the roof of the house in Church Street, which acts as history group The Harwich Society’s headquarters.

But contractors heard the initial warning signs of the chimney giving way.

Evacuating the building, the chimney then suddenly collapsed causing minor damage to the landing but no injuries.

Harwich Society chairman, Colin Farnell, said: “The one vital fact is that no one was hurt.

“The building will be repaired and this incident will become another chapter in the Harwich Society’s history.”

The timber framed house, built around 1450, is thought to be the oldest house in Harwich.

It was the Foresters Arms public house from 1800 to 1940 when it was hit by a bomb during the Second World War.