A CAMPAIGN group fighting to save a historic mansion is appealling for more volunteers.

The Great Chalvedon Hall Community Group is urging residents who are interested in helping to preserve the beautiful timber-framed house, off Rectory Road, Pitsea, to get in touch.

The 14th century hall, most recently used as a pub, is currently vacant, and has been plagued by vandalism in recent months.

Gary Houghton, of Great Chalvedon Hall Community Group, said: “The hall’s most notable mentions are when its farm hands joined the Peasants Revolt of the 1380s, and when it was given to Lord Cromwell by King Henry VIII, until his execution.

“With the closing of the pub Great Chalvedon Hall Community Group was formed to try to build up a campaign with a viable business venture that could save the hall from an uncertain fate, and bring it back into use for the community.”

The group’s plans for the venue, if permission and funds can be secured, include a cafe, offices for small businesses, craft units and a local history museum.

Gary added: “Vandalism has been the greatest enemy of the hall in the months since it closed, with youths getting on the roof and pulling the tiles off, throwing them on to the floor, and using what did not break as missiles to smash the windows and damage the lime plaster covering the walls.

“We are appealing for people not to damage the hall while plans are being put together to save it.

“Anyone who is interested in helping to save this historic building and bring it into community use, please get in contact with the group at greatchalvedonhall@hotmail.co.uk or call or text 07799 000992.”