BESTSELLING author Joanne Harris is fighting to save a living history museum threatened with closure.
The Almondbury writer is concerned that Clarke Hall in Wakefield could be forced to close after its funding was withdrawn.
Clarke Hall was built in 1680 and is a Grade II-listed building which has been used as an education centre since the 1960s.
Thousands of Huddersfield children have dressed up in period costume to sample life in the 17th Century, during visits to the Aberford Road museum.
But £242,000 in funding from the Wakefield Schools Forum will run out in April.
And The Friends of Clarke Hall say the museum will have to close its doors if no more money is found.
Joanne, best known for her novel turned film Chocolat, did work experience at Clarke Hall when she was 17 and has fond memories of the place.
She told the Examiner: “It is such a unique resource and nobody else has got anything like this anywhere else in Europe.
“It would be an appalling waste to lose it and if you look at the amount of money per annum it costs to run it really is a modest sum.”
Joanne described the museum as “invaluable” and “irreplaceable”.
“For so many decades now it has given tremendous inspiration to people – not just to generations of school children but to adults too,’’ she said.
“We have so many great things in Yorkshire and we should be shouting about them but we have a tendency to put them down.”
Joanne has written a story about Clarke Hall which she has released on micro-blogging website Twitter.
Writing on Twitter she said: “Because now the Government is making plans to close down this astonishing place.
“Then we need to make people understand that it isn’t just a museum.
“It’s not even just a library, important as those places are.
“It’s a place that lights up the faces of children who have never seen a live hen, or baked a loaf of haver bread, or listened to a story.”
Janice Scanlon, from the Friends of Clarke Hall, said: “We cannot afford to lose this wonderful house, which is renowned for its educational work, but also for the public’s sake as it is full of history and the heritage of Wakefield and West Riding.
“Its educational work is so valued that schools as far afield as Portsmouth and Redcar are prepared for pay for their visit.”
Anyone who would like to read Joanne’s story on Twitter should key in joannechocolat