A very Victorian Christmas returns to Tyntesfield

Presents beside a bed at Tyntesfield (c) National Trust / Steve Haywood

Tyntesfield, just outside Bristol, is once more gearing up to transform for Christmas, offering visitors an immersive experience of a character driven Victorian Christmas.

From 25 November to 3 January visitors to the Tyntesfield estate, cared for by conservation charity, the National Trust, will be able to experience the festive life of its Victorian owners; the Gibbs and their estate workers, as they prepare for and enjoy the festive period.

Building on the success of last year, visitors will get an insight into how the Gibbs family prepared for Christmas, with Mrs Gibbs planning her annual pantomime, the servants busy decorating the house, and the gentlemen of the house hiding away from the commotion.

This year for the first time the Christmas experience will be spilling into the outdoors. Friends of the Gibbs will be milling around admiring the estate, taking an interest in what their friends have created and the preparations for Christmas Day. At the weekends, the estate workers will also be busy making deliveries by horse and cart, and serving hot spiced apple juice in the Chapel courtyard.

Also new for this year, Home Farm will be dressed for the estate workers festive celebrations, with dried natural foliage collected from the estate in preparation.

On selected weekends the Chaplain’s House holiday cottage will also be open to the public, hosting the Chaplain’s Head Cook preparing the Christmas pudding.

Dancing at Tyntesfield Christmas (c) National Trust – Paul Blakemore

‘Visitors to the estate will be transported back to Christmas in Victorian times to experience the splendour and hustle and bustle of the Gibbs family getting their home ready for guests,’ says Hugh Harris, Events Officer at Tyntesfield. ‘They’ll be able to meet and interact with family members as they get everything in order for the festive season, allowing visitors to learn about the Gibbs life in a Victorian country house at Christmas.’

‘We’re really excited that the experience this year is even bigger and more immersive than before. The whole estate will have a Victorian Christmas feel from the moment people arrive. We’re excited to welcome back people who’ve been here before to see what’s new, and those who are experiencing Christmas at Tyntesfield for the first time.’

‘We will also be opening the house and garden at night on selected dates, lighting the footpaths leading to the house, and giving people the chance to experience the peace of the ground floor of the house after dark.’

A programme of eight local choirs will also be performing on evenings throughout December in the beautiful surroundings of Tyntesfield’s chapel.

Tyntesfield is open every day between 25 November and 3 January except Christmas Day.

Details of all the Christmas events and activities at Tyntesfield are available on www.nationaltrust.org.uk/tyntesfield

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