IN 1999, historian Robin Bush was campaigning to save one of Taunton's oldest buildings.

Mr Bush said if urgent action wasn't taken, it would be a 'tragic loss' for the town.

The former hospital, on Hamilton Road, is one of only 111 grade-two listed buildings in the town.

Mr Bush, who was a part of the Channel 4 archaeological action programme Time Team, urged action on the ramshackle building.

He said there is evidence showing the building was used as a leper hospital from as early as 1236. It was rebuilt in 1612 as almshouses and restored by the Rural Community Council.

At the time, he said: "It is tragic as it is one of the most important buildings in Taunton because of its age and its associations. The real problem is that there is no car park. If the local authority could find a use for it, it would be good."

The almshouses continued in use until 1938.

To this day, the building is currently owned by Falcon Rural Housing and is used as four units of one and two bed homes.