After our youngest son played a footie match in Bristol, we grabbed the opportunity to pop across to visit Tyntesfield for a very enjoyable afternoon. Built on essentially a family fortune founded from bird-poo, Tyntesfield is a wonderfully quirky, gothic-revival mansion that delights and intrigues at each twist and turn! Following a concept of from the Ordinary to the Extraordinary, you start the house visit by entering through probably my favourite part of any NT property, the kitchen’s and associated pantry. Maybe in a past life this is the areas where I worked, but it is in the kitchen’s that the real life of a house like this can be felt.
Many of the rooms at Tyntesfield are quirkily crammed with the 50000 artefacts that the National Trust acquired when taking ownership of Tyntesfield in 2002 and some of the more special artefacts are highly featured in the Ordinary to extraordinary campaign.
Mysterious to many who lived nearby, you get the impression from the army of volunteers that they love the opportunity to tell visitors all the history of the Gibbs family (who were once the richest ‘commoners’ in Britain) and to spend time in this fantastic house. Sometimes you just get a real feel for a property and myself and my eldest son, in particular, absolutely felt ‘it’.
Finishing in the stunning family chapel, we really enjoyed our visit. We then spent a lovely hour or so exploring the grounds, hunting for conkers and generally enjoying the outdoors. Tyntesfield is really well set up for families and is a NT property that just has it right. It’s a really accurate representation of what the National Trust is now – not the archaic, old fuddy-duddy institution it one was. Loved it!