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Tuesday, 30 April, 2002, 08:42 GMT 09:42 UK
Famous flock to save historic hall
Fiona Reynolds, Director-General of the National Trust, inside Tyntesfield
Tyntesfield is described as a "unique" estate
Television personalities are being asked to help a 35m campaign to buy the historic Tyntesfield Estate near Bristol.

The huge Victorian property, which stands in 500 acres of land, comes up for auction in June and among those reported to be interested in bidding against the National Trust for ownership are pop stars Madonna and Kylie Minogue.

On Tuesday, the Save Tyntesfield Campaign is launched with support from the designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, newsreader Jon Snow and a number of top architects and historians.

To be successful, the campaign needs to raise 20m by the middle of June with almost the same amount needed to ensure the estate's continued protection.

'Spectacular place'

Launching the Save Tyntesfield Campaign, the Director-General for the National Trust Fiona Reynolds, said: "We have received overwhelming support to save this property.

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen
The Changing Rooms star calls the estate 'fantastic'
"Tyntesfield is of national importance; we simply cannot stand back and let this spectacular place be broken up and lost forever.

"We are appealing to our supporters, members and other heritage bodies to secure the long-term future of this unique estate.

"However, time is not on our side on this matter.

"We only have until mid-June to place a firm bid for the estate and contents."

Restoration plans

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, from BBC's Changing Rooms, said: "Tyntesfield is a fantastic, extravagant full-on Gothic Revival country house.

"It has an unrivalled collection of Victorian decorative arts, wonderful furniture, paintings and porcelain and its bold architecture shows Victorian confidence and taste at its best.

"We should all support the National Trust's campaign because it would be tragic for us to lose it."

Kylie Minogue
Kylie is reported to be a potential purchaser
Should the trust's appeal succeed, local people will be asked to help repair and restore Tyntesfield.

The trust's plans would also allow public access to substantial areas of woodland and countryside.

Channel Four newsreader Jon Snow said: "For our grandparents, parents and children we owe it to the nation to ensure that Tyntesfield is placed safely in public hands.

"This is a once-in-a-generation chance to secure a brilliant example of Victorian architecture and living and to protect both the house and contents for generations to come."

Click here to go to Bristol
See also:

19 Apr 02 | England
Historic estate goes on sale
13 Mar 02 | England
'Remarkable' house for sale
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