This last weekend we visited my mother in Wiltshire. As is always the case we try to find something we can do with her while we are down there. She is 86, needs a wheelchair to get anywhere, but enjoys seeing things – she still has ‘all her marbles’!
About 18 months ago we all visited Tyntesfield near Bristol. This is a property saved around 5 or 6 years ago by the National Trust. It is ‘special’ as it is a ‘time capsule’ of late Victorian and early Edwardian life and architecture. It was the subject of an appeal to save it by the Trust with spectacular success.
It did however need some urgent repairs – in particular the roof and services. On our first visit this was being dealt with and the property was therefore completely covered in scaffolding (including a false roof) and mostly in accessible internally. It was the largest scaffolding job in the UK apparently!
However following the repair work the scaffolding came off this spring, so a visit was in order!
The difference is amazing, and the quality of the work carried out to the exterior is superb, However it is the interior that now offers so much to see.
There are some fabulous Victorian features such as the fully automated scoring system for the billiards table, worked from buttons on the table linked to the electric score board!
Or the early ventilation system in the rooms (due to the use of gas lighting).
Or, my personal favorite, the glazing system and action in the kitchen garden green houses and orangery. Installed at the time of Queen Victorias 60th Jubilee and still working perfectly today. It also uses no putty, but is totally sealed still – the Victorians were amazing engineers!
It is well worth a look, if you are in the area drop in.
If you aren’t a National Trust member why not join while you are there?