GALLERY: Writer seeking £250,000 to save unique house he has spent two decades transforming

09:34 30 May 2014

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A 25-year project to transform an “ordinary” ex-council house into a magical labyrinth of different locations is set to collapse just 17 months before it is due to be completed. Now the race is on to raise £250,000 in one month to save Talliston House and Gardens.

John Trevillian who started the 25 year projectJohn Trevillian who started the 25 year project

Over the past two-and-a-half decades John Trevillian has funded his unique vision largely from his own pocket. Due to the £2,500 monthly running costs, and the writer now finding himself out of work, the project has hit a financial stumbling block.

The house, in Great Dunmow, will be repossessed if the cash is not raised by August.

Mr Trevillian told the Broadcast: “Nothing like this has been done before and it will never be done again. If I was to not finish Talliston I would just be completely and utterly devastated. I would never get over it.

“The whole point of Talliston was to show that something ordinary can become extraordinary if there is a vision behind it.”

“This is not about me paying off my mortgage and then making a million pounds from it – I am not going to live here once it is complete. It is for a community of creative people, for them to come here and be inspired.”

Mr Trevillian is hoping someone will be touched by his plight and donate the capital needed to finish the project, before turning the house into a trust.

In the near future he will be putting the house up for sale with Mullucks Wells. But if it does come to the point where he does have to sell, he’d prefer it to go to somebody wanting to keep Talliston alive.

“I want to get the message out there about what we are doing and what we need to survive,” he added. “I am hoping to reach somebody who will be in a position where £250,000 is not a lot of money for them and will hopefully allow me to finish what has been started. The money will secure its future forever.”

The project began back in 1990 and over the years each room has taken the shape of a different location from a different time – including a Welsh watchtower in 1887 and a New York detective’s office in 1929.

Mr Trevillian has sourced 1,650 objects and antiques from 27 countries to add to the authenticity, and he is only three rooms away from finishing the wonderland.

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