A warm new café at Tyntesfield – with added pirates for Easter

Families will find more than usual to keep them entertained at Tyntesfield this Easter with a new café area and pirate-themed events taking place.

(c) National Trust / SWNS

Families having fun in the new Cow Barn Café which has just opened at Tyntesfield, near Bristol

And to keep warm over a chilly Easter, hot chocolate will be on sale and a wood burning stove will be lit at the Pavilion, near the on-going restoration of the Orangery.

Inspired by a much-loved copy of Treasure Island in the Tyntesfield library and the Gibbs’ family love of parties and family events, the National Trust has organised a fortnight of Easter pirate trails and events.

The new Cow Barn Café is part of changes to the Home Farm visitor centre, designed with families in mind to make it easier to drop in for a coffee without joining the restaurant queue, a new family corner in the café and better access between the café and National Trust shop.

The plant sales area is also being moved closer to the main visitor reception and shop and extra tables are being set up in the courtyard.

The changes are all part of continued development at the new Home Farm visitor centre at Tyntesfield which opened two years ago. The National Trust commercial support manager, Holly Bassett, explained that the changes came after listening to what visitors wanted from Home Farm.

“We are getting more families visiting us, and indeed more visitors generally as people discover what the Tyntesfield estate has to offer for a day out. So, we created this new warm corner for the café and with a little help from some Easter pirates, we’re making things a little brighter, easier and fun in the café, restaurant and shops.”

“We know that family fun and dressing up are no strangers to this Victorian estate – it is just the type of things that the Gibbs family loved do here, hosting parties and fetes and lots of fun activities. We’re inviting our visitors to come along and be part of that.”

The Easter Pirate trails, are being run every day over the Easter fortnight until 7 April.  Trails cost £2.50 each with a chocolate prize. Normal garden admission applies.

Easter pirate trail is available everyday from the Saturday 23rd March to Sunday 3rd April. More fun and extra information is on www.eastereggtrail.com with information n all the Cadbury and National Trust Easter Egg trails, along with tips on how to make the most of the Easter weekend at home.

‘If you want to have some fun this Easter, get ship shape and sail over to Tyntesfield for trails and treasure, bangs and brigands but beware if ye don’t swab the deck proper we’ll make you walk the plank .’ said Long Jon Ducker, Tyntesfields Visitor Services Manager

Pirate schools will be on Saturday 30th March and Sunday 31st March. Each school last 1 hour and costs £5 per child cost £5 per child plus normal admission charge.   Ages 5 plus. Children must be accompanied. Booking is essential.

Tyntesfield needs you…on Fridays

After welcoming its 1 millionth visitor in 2012, the National Trust’s Tyntesfield estate is looking to give even more access to the house and its collection by opening on Fridays from July to November.

To support this venture the property is looking to recruit a new team of up to 60 volunteers in a variety of roles to welcome visitors and help tell the fascinating story of the family and its treasure trove of contents.

Liz Jones, Volunteer Manager said ‘We are looking to create a new team of enthusiastic volunteers from the local area who together will bring the house to life on Fridays. We’ve often been asked why we don’t open on Fridays, as we are a great stopping point for visitors both staying in North Somerset and Bristol or passing through to and from Devon and Cornwall on holiday or a long weekend. Our new volunteer team will help deliver greater access for these visitors and a fantastic welcome’.

No prior knowledge needed for the role as there will be support and training between March and July. The availability to volunteer regularly on Fridays is essential.

Historic place to rest returns to Tyntesfield

A unique oak bench has been recreated for the 19th century Lady Wraxall’s Garden at Tyntesfield thanks to a rare surviving archive photograph from the 1900’s, some local craftsmanship and much needed funding from a generous donor.

Lady Wraxall’s Garden was modelled in an Italianete style, a departure from the rest of the gothic architectural style, and offered a secluded and sheltered area where family and guest paused after walking the formal gardens.

‘The vision to recreate the bench and restore this place of rest in Lady Wraxall’s Garden has been with us ever since the Trust saved Tyntesfield for the nation in 2002. However it was only until this year, thanks to the very generous funding from one of our supporters we were are able commission a local Bristol based company Brittanic Teak to recreate this magnificent bench’ explains Paul Evans, National Trust Head Gardener at Tyntesfield.

Lady Wraxall’s garden and the new bench can be enjoyed along with the formal and kitchen gardens throughout the year. Normal admission charges apply.

More information is available on www.nationaltrust.org.uk/tyntesfield.


Murder, mystery, and intrigue at Tyntesfield

Friday 12th October 6.30 – 11pm

A unique evening of drama and suspense as the house at Tyntesfield is the scene of a gruesome murder mystery evening.

 It is 1927 a time of economic boom; a sepia-toned time of silent movie stars, jazz and flapper girls. Ethyl Barrymore was on screen, Louis Armstrong was on trumpet and Agatha Christie was on every bookshelf.

 The sixtieth birthday of Lord Maurice Rice-Glutton is fast approaching and only the top flight of society have been lucky enough to receive an invite. Guests will indulge in drinks, canapés, a two course meal and wine with Lord Rice-Glutton and his friends (including Dr Albert Pryde, the secretive Freudian psychologist; Ava Rice the famous children’s book author and wife of the host and Dennis Luster, the sinister groundskeeper), all lovely people. During the evening, a gruesome murder is most likely to take place and guests can go through the rooms at Tyntesfield to find clues, interview suspects and get some answers…keep your wits about you and suspect everyone.

Amy Underwood Thompson Events Co-ordinator at Tyntesfield explains: ‘This evening represents a unique experience for all super sleuths to explore the house. We’ve worked with our friends the Pantaloons to create a rip roaring 1920’s evening of intrigue and suspense. Our head chef Giles has created a special menu too to stimulate the brain and help catch the killer.’

Tickets are priced at £60 and include a 2 course dinner and drinks.

Special price of £270 for a group of 5.
Sleuths are encouraged to dress to impress for the social event of the year with bob cuts, flapper dresses and feathers.

Celebrating spring Bristol style

Spring walks at Tyntesfield, nr Bristol, North Somerset

Spring walks at Tyntesfield, nr Bristol, North SomersetAs dappled sunshine peeped out across the South West, we celebrated the arrival of spring (and the weekend) in Bristolian style at Tyntesfield.Time for a squiz at the new Home Farm visitor centre and a carefree walk around Tyntesfield’s sprawling grounds before a spell in the city.

A mighty fine soya cappuccino and gluten-free shortbread (spot the girl with special dietary requirements) from Tyntesfield’s Home Farm set me on my way. It was lovely to see lots of families striding about and breathing in the fresh air. Strolling past the picnickers and kids having a kick about was a splendid way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Have a peek at our pictures.

I glowed with a little vicarious pride as I overheard lots of positive oohs and aahs coming from fellow explorers of this grand Victorian estate.

‘This is a gorgeous, gorgeous place’ – sighed one Bristol resident.
Another remarked ‘Everywhere smells lovely after the grass has been cut.’

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Seas of narcissi and daffodils under the trees, pots of purple hyacinths and freshly sewn seeds in the kitchen garden added to the spring in my step.

And with Tyntesfield‘s turrets and pinnacles standing proud and free from scaffolding for the first time in two years – what a lot of eye candy on show.

The Spring Festival

Continuing Bristol’s seasonal celebrations required a stop at The Spring Festival in the city centre. It was great to see a fellow National Truster – roving recruiter Emma – setting up her stall among local lovers of the outdoors and moreish morsels.

Find her there tomorrow (Sunday 27 March, 11am-5pm) at Brunel’s Old Station (next to Temple Meads). She’ll be joined by the Tyntesfield crew who promise lots of inspiration on getting outdoors and closer to nature just outside one of Britain’s greenest cities.

Why not stop by to find out more about fun things to do in the fresh air from yoga on the lawn to growing your own veg. Simple pleasures, hey?

See Tyntesfield unwrapped for spring

An impressive sight awaits you at the National Trust’s Tyntesfield in North Somerset when the Gothic Victorian house and chapel re-open today. For the first time in nearly two years you can see the spectacular Victorian mansion unobscured by scaffolding.

See 28 miles of scaffolding disappear before your very eyes on this time lapse film video. Now you can admire the dramatic Gothic architecture of the house and chapel in all its glory. For over 18 months the roof has been hidden behind one of the largest temporary free standing roof structures in Europe, the size of 10 tennis courts while repairs and restoration work were taking place. Keep up to date on our conservation activities by visiting Tyntesfield’s blog.

Stylish again for spring

Unwrapped, the romantic vista of turrets and pinnacles, chimneys and gables that make up the Tyntesfield skyline are revealed once more. Watertight and weatherproof the newly restored black and red tiles display the complex geometric pattern that had been unseen for generations; its bold colour scheme a striking contrast to the golden tones of the Bath stone of the house itself.

Fresh interiors

Inside, rooms that had been stripped of their contents, covered in dust sheets or used as storage during the renovation works have been unwrapped too. Objects that were carefully packed away and moved into storage by trained staff and specialists have returned.

Meghan Wilton, Acting House Manager explained:

“This colossal project has been a bit like moving house, but imagine a house with over 100 rooms and more than 40, 000 objects, ranging from Victorian cooking utensils and toys to rare and delicate pieces of furniture.

“It’s incredibly satisfying to see all the work complete as we begin to re-present the rooms, evoking the different ways all four generations of the Gibbs’ family used the house. The Main Hall, for example, with its chairs and jigsaw puzzles, recalls its time as a family living room in the 1890s, making it the perfect place to stop off and relax. I can’t wait to see the visitors’ reactions.”

Come and see us

Tyntesfield house and chapel opens on Monday 28 February 10.30am -5pm (Saturday- Wednesday; 01275 461900).

The garden and estate are open everyday from Monday 28 February from 10am-6pm.

Home Farm, visitor centre’s restaurant, shop and café are free to visit and open everyday from Monday 28 February from 10.30am-4.30pm.