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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 December, 2004, 07:44 GMT
Appeal to restore historic folly
Queen Ann Summerhouse on the Shuttleworth Estate
The Queen Ann Summerhouse is on the Shuttleworth Estate
An appeal has been launched to save a unique 18th century summerhouse hidden deep in a Bedfordshire wood.

The Landmark Trust wants to raise 500,000 to restore the Queen Ann Summerhouse on the Shuttleworth Estate.

But it needs money fast - before the 300-year-old building falls down. Its brickwork is so fine that even the rubbing of branches has left scarring.

The Landmark Trust intends to let the property as a holiday home and make it a summerhouse for all seasons.

A spokesman for the Trust said the building "is in an advanced state of decay. There are gaping holes in the roof, vegetation has colonised the interior and the whole structure is crumbling away".

The Landmark Trust initially needs 10,000 to carry out some urgent emergency work.

This would involve erecting a temporary roof over the building to protect it from further deterioration while the remaining money is raised.

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