Romsey and Lancefield Districts Historical Society is pleading for help to save a piece of history.

Romsey’s 19th century Seymour Cottage needs significant restoration work and has been closed to the public for safety reasons.

The gold rush-era building, which is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register, is suffering from extensive termite damage that could lead to potential structural failures.

Romsey and Lancefield Districts Historical Society president Noreen Yorke said the society needed help to restore and maintain the cottage.

“It’s at a critical stage – if steps aren’t taken to preserve it, it will be lost to the community,” Ms Yorke said.

She said the limited funds generated by society members were unable to cover the building’s restoration and operational costs.

“We’re looking to community support,” Ms Yorke said “The cottage was left to the whole community.”

Ms Yorke said the cottage was left to the people of Romsey in the 1980s, and since the trustees had passed away, the society had been given responsibility for the building. The society plans to apply for grants from Heritage Victoria, but is also calling for local support.

“In the long term there’s quite a lot that needs to be done,” Ms Yorke said.

The Victorian Heritage Register deems Seymour Cottage as architecturally and historically significant to the state.

It says it is an example of a simple gold rush-era cottage and demonstrates “the proliferation of prefabricated buildings and materials imported to meet the demand for accommodation in the rapidly expanding colony of gold rush era Victoria”.

To find out how to help Seymour Cottage, or to offer financial support, ideas and submissions, contact the society’s secretary Shirley Kishere on 0402 248 540.