CUSTODIANS of the historic Guys Cliffe House are hoping to raise nearly £500,000 to help restore the site to its former glory.
Parts of the 5th century Grade II listed building and gardens have fallen into disrepair following years of negligence.
Now dedicated volunteers want to restore The Lower Walk and Upper Cliff areas – creating a pathway which surrounds the entire building – and open it up to the public.
Adrian King, custodian and chairman of the Friends of Guys Cliffe, says so far the work carried out has been a ‘labour of love’ but help is needed to complete the bigger jobs.
These include restoring walkways and clearing areas which were demolished after the Second World War. Some of the area was also affected following a blaze in 1992 which happened during the filming of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, when a fire got out of control and damaged the building.
Volunteers hope to complete the work in stages and if they raise the full amount, to open the building for groups and create a coffee shop.
Mr King, who has worked at Guys Cliffe for the last 14 years, said: “The Lower Walk and Upper Cliff were once linked, and while it is already beautiful it needs some TLC to bring it back to its former glory.
“It is such a lot of work getting the area back to how it was. So far it has all been a labour of love – we have had to everything by hand because it is inaccessible for machinery to get down.
“We want to get this wonderful area reopened for the public for more people to enjoy.
“It’s an ambitious plan which wont be easy and will take a while, but we believe people will want to bring it back and restore this area the tourist trail.”
Visit www.gofundme.com/restoreguyscliffehouse to donate.