A RARE opportunity has arisen to buy the front façade of the former Arkenside Hotel, which used to be situated in Cirencester and which has been in storage since its demolition in 2006.

The façade was constructed in fine Bath Ashlar limestone and has been carefully preserved since its demolition.

Clients of Wellers Fine Art based in Guildford purchased the material in 2006 with the original intention of re-building the facade for their private residence but a recent change in their circumstances has now led to it being placed back on the market.

At present it is being stored in Surrey where private viewings can be arranged with the auctioneers who are based in Guildford, with viewings only possible during daylight hours due to a lack of lighting where the façade is being stored.

A single offer is invited for the material which is currently stored on 100 pallets with a further 30 one ton bags of loose stone.

There are detailed diagrams and schedules of the stone linking it back to its original structure, for its potential reconstruction.

There is also a complete archive of photographs taken during the demolition work which, together with the diagrams and workings, evidence the care and attention to detail given to the original reclamation project.

There was some controversy over the original decision to demolish the building which had stood at 44-46 Lewis Lane since its original construction in 1859.

Local Cotswold MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown sought to prevent its demolition in 2006 by seeking a listed building status but this request was rejected by the then Secretary of State the Rt Hon Tessa Jowell MP.

At the time, English Heritage commented: "The architectural interest had been compromised by very substantial extensions".

However, they said: "The building was an unusual example of the Regency period in Cirencester."

Since the demolition in 2006 the site was the subject of some archaeological attention but a watching brief by Cotswold Archelogy during the ground works determined that there was nothing of interest.

Since then nine townhouses have been built on the site Wellers would ideally like to find a single buyer for the façade who wishes to rebuild it in its entirety and interestingly Wellers have already been approached by a national film company that would like to make a documentary of the construction work.