STAFF at one of Hampshire’s grandest stately homes are working around the clock to get it shipshape.

Storms forced the closure of Hinton Ampner House after a third of the roof was destroyed by ferocious winds.

Now the National Trust property is facing a repair bill of anywhere up to half a million pounds.

Visitor experience officer at Hinton Ampner, Louise Washington, said: “From the outside it doesn’t look like there is any damage, so people are confused as to why we’re closed.

“But it’s lucky no one was out wandering around when the roof came off because it could have killed someone.”

The once-packed attic was emptied and the top floor is now home to those items.

A spokesman for the trust said they are working flat-out to get the ground floor open in time for Easter, but it could be November before the whole house is back to normal.

Hinton Ampner, famous for its manicured gardens, is no stranger to adversity. The original 18th century home had to be rebuilt by its last owner, Ralph Dutton, following a devastating fire in 1960.