A GEORGIAN mansion once described as the finest house in Camborne has been sold.
The former Gladys Holman House at Rosewarne which has been standing neglected for years was sold to Lesley and Reg Price of Price Properties in Penzance recently.
The couple are to invest £2 million to convert it into flats.
Property developer Highgrove Homes had previously floated plans to renovate the property but shelved the plans following the collapse of the housing market.
The property was on the market for £500,000 and comprises the house itself, adjacent lawns and land for a proposed development of 12 flats.
Mrs Price, who is an architect and ex-conservation officer, said it took the couple 17 months to complete the purchase.
She said: "At last our team, headed by members of the family, is ready to start work.
"I believe Rosewarne House is a perfect gem - examples of the Greek Revival are very rare in the West Country - and I see this project as the culmination of my life's work with historic buildings.
"I plan to spend the next five years supervising the repair of this beautiful old house, and to restore what remains of the parkland to its former glory.
"It's such an important building, not just for its architectural merits, but for its place in the history of mining in Camborne, and in the hearts of local people."
The couple has hand-picked a team of about 45 local craftsmen who have all cleared their diaries to be able to work here with the family.
They also said they were in close communication with Cornwall Council and English Heritage to get the Grade II* listed building right.
Mrs Price continued: "The way we see it, this really is the last chance for Rosewarne House in Holman Park as it's been effectively roofless for two years and probably won't make it through another winter.
"We have budgeted for around £2 million of repair costs, and don't expect to make much profit at the end of the day, as the precise costs are so hard to quantify. But the way we look at it, sometimes profit's not the point."
A great deal of damage has been caused by vandalism to the building.
Mrs Price is urging any trespassers to keep out.
She said: "Not only that, but I can't overemphasise how dangerous it is in there, with plaster and roof timbers liable to collapse at any moment. Please don't allow your children to use it as a playground - there are holes in the floors and used syringes lying around. And from now on there will be serious building procedures taking place, so that's another source of concern."
She has also reminded the public that there is no public right of access to or through the site and that the couple planned to organise some open days when the site was safe.
The house, built in 1815 by mine-owner William Harris, was originally called Rosewarne and later came into the Holman family.
It was used as offices by the family firm, and then became a care home. Charity Scope sold it to Highgrove Homes five years ago.