Wednesday, 22 September 2010

I risk scaffolding to get a bird's eye view of Tyntesfield

When I was small, I used to be driven to Bristol past the longest unbroken hedge in England. (It isn't anymore btw) and told that behind the hedge lived a man who was strange and rich. Strange, (and this was my father's description, not mine!) because he was supposedly gay though kept quiet about it, possibly because it was still illegal at the time, and, rich because his family made a fortune out of guana (mounds of fertilizer to you and me).

Lord Wraxall died in 2001 without issue, and the mysterious house behind the hedge came up for sale. It was bought by the National Trust, who just managed to pip Kylie Minogue to the post, and restoration of one of the most interesting Victorian country houses began.

I've been to a lot of National Trust houses, but this one is by far the most fascinating. It is in a very poor state of repair at the moment, but is being renovated throughout, and, because in some of the rooms  there's no electric yet, the rooms are very dark. Some of the photos didn't come out well, but here's some for what they're worth.

Left: the library, used as a drawing room.

Left: the ladies sitting room and right, the library again.

Wonderful wood panelling throughout

 Looking from the staircase to the hall.

And finally, we were asked if we would like to climb the scaffolding to see the roof where repairs were ongoing. You have to be reasonably fit and not in the least bit drunk. Here's what I saw...

I was feeling a bit wobbly at this stage as the scaffolding was beginning to sway.


  1. How brave were you?! That was an amazing opportunity to see the building from a different angle. Well done for taking the chance - I hope you had a hard hat on?
    his is one NT property I would really like to go and see, it is fascinating. I wonder what Kylie would have done to it if she'd been successful in her bid?

  2. It looks an interesting house to visit, lots of inspiration. How lucky to be able to go up to the roof on the scffolding in this age of H&S