THE birthplace of the Moulton bike is being opened to the public to raise money for the charity set up to keep it maintained.

The Hall in Bradford on Avon was the last home for inventor Dr Alex Moulton and when it opened its doors for an egg trail at Easter staff of the charitable trust that runs it were amazed at the huge interest.

Around 3,500 people visited over the pace of four days.So now 24 more dates have opened up this summer for people to see the inside of the quirky Jacobean building and learn its history.

House and estate manager Sarah Murray said: “We are thrilled to be able to offer the public a chance to see inside of a building that has been private for over 400 years. We have been busy recruiting and training Volunteer Tour Guides to help fulfil the demand for tours, which give a general overview of the history, occupants and significance of this house. We hope that visitors come away feeling inspired and wanting to learn more about this fascinating place.”

A Royalist family home during the Civil War, it has seen use as storage, offices and workers' accommodation.

Tours cost £15 and last about an 1 hour.

The Alex Moulton Charitable Trust was set up by Dr Moulton to care for the historic estate and collection after his death. It supported by a large group of volunteers who give their time to help at events, in the garden and in the house for details.

Built in 1610 by the Hall family as a prominent family home, it has been the centre of the town’s industrial past for over 400 years. The Hall family were wealthy landowners and clothiers whose wealth stemmed from the woollen industry. In the 1700s to mid-1800s the building was used mainly for storage, workers accommodation and offices, and quickly ran into disrepair.

In 1848 Stephen Moulton purchased the property and subsequent mills, faithfully restoring it to its original opulence. He established his rubber company in the mills opposite and was soon leading the way in rubber manufacture in the UK. The Hall itself is Grade I listed, and the surrounding grounds and outbuildings are Grade II and II* listed.

The last occupant was Dr Alex Moulton, who died in 2012. He is well known for designing the innovative suspension system for the Mini. This was later refined into the Hydrolastic and Hydragas suspension systems used on a range of British cars and most recently on the MGF. Moulton also designed the famous Moulton Bicycle characterised by their small wheels, which are still made at The Hall estate to this very day.

The Alex Moulton Charitable Trust was founded by Dr Moulton in 1977. Following his death in December 2012, the Hall and its collections passed to the trust to preserve and maintain the site for the benefit of the public through running events and enhancing public knowledge in the related fields of engineering, history, architecture and industry.