A HISTORIC landmark is open to the public for guided tours until Friday, August 31.
The 1,000-foot-long, Grade I-listed Ashridge House and its Grade II-listed gardens were completed for the 7th Earl of Bridgewater John Egerton in the 1800s.
In its restored 19th Century stables, a new exhibition tells the story of the landmark – which dates back to 1283, when a monastery was there.
Fundraisers from charity the Ashridge Trust are trying to raise £750,000 for a five-year project to restore what the ancient site looked like.
One of the first projects is the £20,000 restoration of the 390 metre rhododendron walk, which lines the inner sides of the great Wellingtonia avenue (above).
This involves removal of Ponticum rootstocks and their replacement with 718 rhododendron historic hybrids.
The Trust’s gardens manager Mick Thompson said: “This has the potential to be one of the greatest rhododendron plantings in the UK.
“We hope people will come and see what we are trying to achieve and give us their support.”
The guided tours cost from £5 to £15, or you can explore the gardens without a guide between 2pm and 6pm at weekends for £4.50 – £2.50 for concessions.
For more information, phone 01442 841107 or visit www.ashridgehouse.org.uk