Coun Edwina Fogg, Marlborough’s mayor, was on hand to open the Christmas present room in the panelled chamber at the town’s Merchant’s House.

Overflowing with colourful Christmas present ideas and decorations the 17th century upstairs panelled chamber will be open until Christmas.

The house of Thomas Bayly, a silk merchant, was built following the Great Fire of Marlborough in 1653 with work taking place until 1700.

A substantial amount survives and hidden painted decoration is being revealed. The facade and rooms fronting the High Street are timber-framed with tile hanging. The rear is a wing of brick construction. With the help of friends and supporters £830,000 has been raised but about £70,000 more for the current appeal is needed to continue restoration of the main house.