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Last Updated: Monday, 18 June 2007, 13:35 GMT 14:35 UK
Gardens reopen at flood-hit abbey
Books drying in Calke Abbey
Experts are working to save items inside the abbey
A Derbyshire stately home which was damaged by severe flooding has reopened its gardens, restaurant and shop.

Experts are still assessing the damage to the house at Calke Abbey near Ticknall in south Derbyshire - and the building itself remains closed.

National Trust spokeswoman Samantha Chidlow said it was still too early to say exactly how long the house would remain shut.

Heavy rain last week damaged a number of rooms in the 18th Century house.

The National Trust said staff responded extremely quickly to prevent the spread of water and to remove objects from the affected rooms into secure storage.

Many historic houses are struggling to cope with ... the intense bursts of rain we are increasingly experiencing
Stewart Alcock, property manager

Some books in the library were damaged and carpets too.

De-humidifiers and fans have been put around the house to extract moisture and keep the air circulating.

Stewart Alcock, property manager at Calke Abbey, said: "Heavy rainfall is one of the big climate impacts threatening our built heritage and many historic houses are struggling to cope with the volume and power of the intense bursts of rain we are increasingly experiencing."

He said it was the worst damage at the property since the National Trust took over more than 20 years ago.

The stately home was built by the Harper-Crewe family in 1704, on the site of an earlier priory.

It was donated to the National Trust in 1986.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
The flood damage inside Calke Abbey



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