Fish and food finale for Withdrawn


To celebrate the end of art installation Withdrawn by Luke Jerram at Leigh Woods a finale fish and chip event cooked by Michelin starred chef Josh Eggleton will take place on Sunday, August 23.

Found in Leigh Woods, a national nature reserve on the edge of North Somerset towards the city boundaries , Withdrawn is an artwork, which came about thanks to the National Trust and their partners, the Forestry Commission.

It has surprised and excited audiences as part of Bristol’s year as European Green Capital since April when it opened.

The artwork comprises of five abandoned fishing boats set within a tranquil glade in the woodland on the edge of the city.

The boats have been host to a variety of well received events including cinema, theatre, talks, walks, storytelling and choral performances.

The final event of the exhibition from 5-7pm for guests with pre-booked tickets.

National Trust Leigh Woods engagement ranger Nicole Daw said: "This is going to be a brilliant event for visitors and for me, as I watch the National Trust events programme around Withdrawn draw to a close.

"Visitors will enjoy a stimulating discussion between Luke Jerram and academics from the Cabot Institute before tucking into a fish and chip supper that Josh Eggleton will be cooking for us fresh on the day.

"Josh will then join the discussion to talk about the meal we will have all just eaten, and how he makes sure his fish is sustainably sourced.

"So we will all go away with full tummies and a lot to think about.’

Cabot Institute professor Rich Pancost who will be joined by Prof Daniela Schmidt said: "The sea provides food, medicine, energy, protection, jobs and identity, but we are polluting, warming and acidifying it.

"The vessels showcased in Withdrawn illustrate a lifestyle and a food source that may someday no longer exist.

"We hope people will join us as we explore in an inclusive and entertaining way these themes in the beautiful and unique setting of the boats and woodland."

Audience members are encouraged to bring along their own ideas and questions to share in the discussion.

As well as the talk there will be a chance to chat and mingle informally with Luke, and the rest of the panel while enjoying the supper.

Luke said: "I am so pleased at how well the events programme has been received.

"This seems like such a brilliant way to finish it, with delicious food and the chance to really get people thinking about the deeper meaning of my work and where its title Withdrawn came from.

"It is strange to think in just a few more weeks the boats will no longer be resting in the woods, but the great news is they all have new homes to go to.

"So people may well see them again in and around Bristol, as well as a bit further afield."

 Tickets £5 per person from the National Trust booking line 0844 249 1895 or online by clicking HERE.

Withdrawn is open from 9am-5pm until September 6.

Visitors are invited to walk, bus or cycle to the site in keeping with the environmental message of the project.

The project was commissioned by the National Trust, working in partnership with Arts Council England. 

It is one of six arts projects funded by the Arts Council England, Exceptional Fund, as part of Bristol’s year as European Green Capital.

To read more about the project scroll down this page.

The gothic glory of


  • Learn about life upstairs and downstairs at Tyntesfield near Nailsea once the home of the Gibbs family and now owned by the National Trust; and

  • Leigh Woods a national nature reserve on south west side of the Avon Gorge


Costume making volunteers at Tyntesfield


Volunteers costume making at Tyntesfield

Visitors to Tyntesfield, the National Trust Victorian gothic mansion and estate, near Nailsea will have the opportunity to learn more about Victorian costume and culture during the site’s upcoming Victorian week, from Monday to Sunday, March 9-15.

Tyntesfield’s costumiers will be in the Cow Barn atrium from 10:30am-2:30pm throughout the week, giving visitors a close up look at some of the handmade pieces from the estate’s costume collection – made mostly from repurposed fabrics which have been donated or recycled.

There will be free daily guided walks at 10.30am and noon each day, which will focus on Victorian history in the outdoors.

These will include the modelling of Home Farm and day to day life on the estate.

Indoors, families can try their hand at Victorian household tasks, including silver polishing and napkin folding.

Tyntesfield senior visitor experience officer Malcolm Thorne said: "Tyntesfield’s Victorian week will give visitors a great opportunity to learn more about how the team research, develop and create Tyntesfield’s historically accurate costumes.

"This is the first time visitors have been able to take a close look at some of the pieces in the collection."

For more information click HERE.

Warning about dogs worrying deer

Rangers at the National Trust’s Leigh Woods, near Nailsea, are asking for the public’s help to keep the woodland safe for wildlife after increasing numbers of incidents involving out-of-control dogs.

Leigh Woods area ranger Tor Stanfield said: "We’re grateful to all the responsible visitors and dog owners who enjoy Leigh Woods while respecting the fact it’s also a National Nature Reserve.

"However, we’re receiving more reports of dogs being out of control and frightening or attacking the deer.

"We are asking all visitors to help keep the woods safe for wildlife by keeping all dogs on a lead or under close control."

Many deer use the site as a refuge year-round, with mothers hiding young fawns in the undergrowth who then stay there until the mother returns.

Keeping dogs under close control will also protect the herd of Red Devon cattle who help maintain and manage the woodland through grazing during the summer months.

The Trust cares for 65 hectares (160 acres) of historic woodland on the site, which has three nature conservation designations in recognition of the high quality habitat and diversity of species; it is a National Nature Reserve, Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

Leigh Woods is home to internationally protected species, as well as many which are locally scarce.

These include the protected Hazel dormouse and seven species of bat, as well as being an important site for nesting birds, many of which spend time on the ground before fledging.

And at Bradgate Park in Leicestershire they have gone even further in


warning out of control dogs mauling deer could be shot and quoting online that 'the law permits landowners, in extreme circumstances, to shoot dogs that are worrying the deer'.
Leigh Woods was donated to the National Trust in 1909, to prevent the area from being developed.

Now, the National Trust care for the site, famous for its views of Clifton Suspension Bridge and endemic flora.

The site is partly cared for by the Forestry Commission.

Wassailing at Tyntesfield's new orchard

Go wassailing at Tyntesfield on Saturday afternoon, January 25.
Booking is not needed for this free event although admission applies.
There is a craft session in the Sawmill from 11am-1pm which does need to be booked - click HERE - then armed with your own shaker to rattle you can join the parade through the estate at 2pm.
The final Wassail and blessing of the orchard will take place at the end of the procession - if you can't make the craft workshop feel free to bring your own instruments and noise-making implements
The parade will leave at 2pm at the front of the house and the final Wassail will take place at 3pm in the orchard.
As the majority of this event will be outdoors, please wear clothing suitable for the weather and walking in long grass.
The forecast is currently dry for Saturday. 



Festive sparkle at Tyntesfield

The good tidings of Christmas are well on their way at the National Trust’s Tyntesfield estate, near Nailsea.

From Saturday to Sunday, November 23-January 5, visitors can immerse themselves in the excitement of a Victorian Christmas, joining costumed characters playing the part of the Gibbs family as they prepare for Christmas of 1891.

There’ll be dancing, singing and merriment every day, and visitors will be invited to join in with traditional carols and learn some dance steps in the Drawing Room.

The house and estate are open every day except Christmas Day, and will open late five days a week throughout December, giving more visitors the chance to see the house dressed up in its winter finery, shop and eat. From Wednesday to Sunday, the estate is open until 8pm, and 9pm on Fridays.

The Cow Barn shop and restaurant are open until 30 minutes before closing, and last entry to the house is one hour before. 

While the halls are lavishly dressed, the decorations don’t stop there. Throughout the estate, lighting and decorations will adorn the outdoors, and there’ll be two very special illuminated and animated sculptures made by Bristol’s The Gentleman Octopus, inspired by Tyntesfield’s flora and fauna.

In another first for the estate, visitors can take home a very special souvenir of their visit to last through the season, as Christmas trees will be on sale in the upper courtyard.

A selection of four different trees will be available, from £25.

To fully immerse themselves in Christmas spirit, visitors can book into one of many carol concerts in the chapel.

A range of local professional and community choirs will perform, including UWE Gospel Choir, St Mary Redcliffe Church Choir and Spiro.

For those wishing to travel in true Victorian style, there’ll be horse and carriage rides running daily from the front of the house, or for the more creative there are workshops, including firm favourite, wreath making.

Passengers arriving by public transport can claim a 20 per cent discount in the shop and restaurant.

Booking is highly recommended via the Tyntesfield website, or on 0344 249 1895.

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TYNTESFIELD_Christmas dancing_ Paul Blak

Autumn at Tyntestfield

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Rather than go into a seasonal hibernation, the Tyntesfield estate near Nailsea springs to life for autumn. There’s plenty to see, lots to do at the site cared for by the National Trust, and plenty of seasonal vegetables harvested from the Kitchen Garden to taste in recipes in the Cow Barn restaurant.

For those wishing to explore the best of seasonal colour, there are self-led trails for all ages.

Families can pick up a new seasonal trail map, and go on a sensory adventure across the estate.

For older visitors who are looking for far reaching views and an array of colour, there will be a Golden Tree trail to follow, with four different routes to follow based on variety and accessibility.

And things are about to get spooky at Tyntesfield, as the Victorian Gothic mansion and estate prepares for the fun and mysteries that half term and Halloween bring.

This year, visitors can pick up a Halloween trail from the ticket office for £3. Follow the trail of clues naughty spiders have left across the estate to unscramble the code.

There are seasonal prizes to win on a trail suitable for younger as well as older children.

For those that fancy a spot of pumpkin carving, craft and storytelling, families can book a place on the Halloween hunky punk adventure.

The activities are on Tuesday and Wednesday, October 29-30, with morning and afternoon sessions available for £6 per child.

If you’d prefer to just stretch your legs and learn all about the changing colours, sights and sounds of the season, pick up a seasonal trail leaflet from the ticket office for free, and explore the wider estate.

Or for those who would prefer to travel round the estate like a Victorian lord or lady, there will be horse and carriage rides running every day throughout half term for £3 per person.

These can be booked in advance or on the day, subject to availability.

For more information on any of the above, or to book click HERE.

Peter Hall_purple Dhalia with morning de
20170922 Pumpkins in the glasshouse (Ala

PHOTOS: From top Lisa Topham, misty morning; Alana Wright, pumpkins in the glasshouse and Peter Hall, purple dhalia with morning dew

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Tyntesfield's fruitful fungus

PHOTOS: Anna Kilcooley

Tyntesfield, the 540 acre estate cared for by the National Trust near Nailsea, has just had a record month for sightings of the fruiting bodies of many different varieties of mushroom.

 The North Somerset and Bristol Fungus group meet monthly at Tyntesfield to conduct an audit across the estate.

The group believe August’s extensive rainfall led to a particularly good number of the fruiting bodies on the Tyntesfield estate; the most species identified since 2017.

Their August foray uncovered 73 different species of mushroom, including the death cap mushroom – an apt name for this highly toxic mushroom.

What one generally recognises as a mushroom is just the fruiting body of the fungi.

The network of ‘mycelium’, essentially a mushroom’s root system can consist of many miles of delicate strands of hyphae - single strands of mycelium.

Mycelium is so tiny, that there can be many miles of it under each footstep taken in the outdoors.

This network allows the fungi to ‘communicate’ across the network, sharing nutrients and even information to help the fungus thrive.

Since the group began their audits in 2005, more than 1, 000 different species have been recorded, and more continue to be discovered.

Indeed, since January this year, six species new to Tyntesfield have been recorded, as well as one which has not been seen since 2008.

Tyntesfield area ranger Darren Mait said: “It’s a real honour to have the North Somerset and Bristol Fungus group meet at Tyntesfield.

“Without their expert knowledge, many of the fascinating and rare species found here would go unnoticed.

“The diversity of mushrooms at Tyntesfield is a great sign as to the health of the land here.

“Fungi are natural recyclers, ensuring that dead and rotting plant life are broken down and become important nutrients for the ecosystems around them.”

Sharp eyed visitors to Tyntesfield throughout the year will see these unusual and varied beings appear throughout the woodland, park and garden, but are reminded that fungi are best appreciated by simply looking at them, and that foraging should only be undertaking with an expert, licensed guide.

Picnicking at Tyntesfield this summer (c

Tyntesfield summertime

Family visitors to the National Trust’s Tyntesfield, near Nailsea, this summer will find plenty to keep them entertained, with an array of events, play areas and plenty of space to picnic and explore.

For green-fingered families, Wonders of the Walled Garden workshops, on selected dates through July and August offer an opportunity to learn all about how things grow, have a go at planting yourself and to make something tasty with Tyntesfield’s produce.

If craft, stories and games sound like a good day out, TYNTEfest marks National Play Day on Wednesday, August 7, and is a festival for 2-5 year olds and their families.

This year will celebrate the stories of Beatrix Potter, with sessions on Wednesday to Friday, August 7-9.

Horse and carriage rides take place on selected weekends in July and August, giving visitors a chance to travel across the estate in true Victorian style.

There’ll also be a performance of Alice in Wonderland by Immersion Theatre on Friday, August 16, taking place on the croquet lawn with the house as a fitting backdrop.

Intrepid explorers can shelter from the rain in the Gothic mansion and pick up a Hispanic Explorer’s trail to learn about travels and adventure in the Victorian era.

There’s plenty of interactive things to get involved with, including spotting the poison in the medicine cabinet, and discovering Victorian cures for different illnesses.

Sunny days mean a chance to get out and engage with nature, following the 50 things to do before you’re 11 and ¾ trail.

For those that prefer to take things at their own pace, Tyntesfield has four play areas.

For tiny tots, there is the indoor Cow Barn play area, where mum and dad can grab a coffee while the little ones play.In the Home Farm courtyard,

Facepainting at TYNTEfest (c) National T

there’s The Farm play area, with a big tractor to climb up, and slides to slide down.

For bigger kids, there’s the Orchard play area by Tyntesfield’s Pavilion café at the lower end of the estate, where they can play under the watchful eye of parents while the dog tucks into some doggy ice cream.

Or for a real outdoors escape, the woodland play area features a den building village and sculpture trail.

Tyntesfield visitor experience manager Paula James said: "Tyntesfield during the summer offers families a safe space and freedom to explore, engage with nature and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.

"Parents can relax on the lawn while the kids run wild, engage with nature and make memories to last a lifetime."

Picnics are always welcome at Tyntesfield, and if you arrive unprepared, the shop and café are fully stocked with everything you might need for a successful day out on the lawn.

For opening times, prices and to book online click HERE or call the National Trust box office on 0345 249 1895.


PHOTOS:Face-painting at TYNTEfest © National Trust/Alana Wright and picnicking at Tyntesfield this summer © National Trust/Anna Kilcooley

1 egg laying National TrustSteve White.j
2 larvae National Trust Steve White.jpg
3 Emergence Steve White National Trust.j
4 adult dragonfly National Trust Steve W

WILD THINGS; Emperor dragonflies emerge from the ponds cared for by the National Trust at Tyntesfield, near Nailsea, during late May and early June each year. Emperor dragonflies (Anax Imperator) are Britain’s largest dragonfly species, with a wingspan of up to 10cm, and up to 100 new adults will shed their underwater skins and take off from the water. The dragonfly catches and eats its prey in mid-air and does not land often. Males have a bright blue abdomen and bright green thorax, females tend to be green all over. Male emperor dragonflies are known for their aggressive nature. Emperor dragonflies stay as larvae for 1-3 years, and will moult several times underwater as they grow. The final moult takes place above the water on nearby vegetation. The new adult dragonfly will live for around 10 days, returning to the pond to mate. NT outdoors manager Lisa Topham said: "It’s a really exciting time for us down in the walled garden during dragonfly season. “Dragonfly emergence usually happens on the riverside, so Tyntesfield provides an amazing opportunity to see the entire dragonfly lifecycle up close. Tyntesfield’s knowledgeable estate guides will be on hand to help visitors spot these wonderful creatures as they emerge into their adult forms." Visitors to Tyntesfield over the bank holiday weekend and May half term may be lucky enough to see new adult dragonflies shedding their underwater skins, warming up their wings and taking flight for the first time.

PHOTOS: From left egg laying; larvae; emergence and adult dragonfly all by © Steve White

Wildlife photos from Backwell Lake at in a slideshow at Galley 2019 

Tyntesfield Alhambra - National Trust -
Tyntesfield Alhambra with William Gibbs

Spanish roots at Tyntesfield

From Wednesday, May 22, the National Trust at Tyntesfield, near Nailsea, is giving visitors the chance to discover more of the estate’s historic Hispanic connections.

From Madrid to Tyntesfield: A story of love, loss and legacy reveals the life of Tyntesfield’s founder, William Gibbs in the Hispanic world.

Born in Madrid, the son of a Spanish woollen merchant, William’s story is one of long struggles to pay off inherited debts, of lost love, and business deals across the Hispanic world that generated a vast fortune.

Many of the items within the house and across the grounds give insight to this legacy.

The theme will be explored through displays within the house, seasonal events, new dishes on the menu and an autumn photography exhibition.

Tyntesfield and Bristol curator Susan Hayward said: "William’s Anglo-Spanish identity was an important factor in the huge success of his South American trade and the reason why he had the cash to create his grand high gothic’ design at Tyntesfield.

"We are excited to be revealing new insights into the Tyntesfield estate and the man who created it through a series of fascinating and exquisite objects throughout the house, many on display for the first time."

Visitors will be able see items from the vast Tyntesfield collection that have never been on display before, including ornate model interiors from the Alhambra palace in Granada, and a series of portrait miniatures painted by the miniaturist to the Spanish Royal Family, Antonio Tomasich y Haro.Hispanic themed food and drink will be on offer in Tyntesfield’s Cow Barn Restaurant, including chorizo burgers made with meat from Tyntesfield’s tenant farmers and orange and rhubarb cake using ingredients grown in the kitchen garden.

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The story will be told throughout 2019-20, and will feature a family trail which launches on Sunday, June 30; $tow High In Transit - a photography exhibition through September and October; and Hispanic links across the wider estate will be revealed as the story progresses.

PHOTO: From top clockwise Tyntesfield Alhambra © National Trust / Bob Fowler, Tyntesfield Alhambra with William Gibbs inlaid © National Trust / Bob Fowler & Henry Lyndsay and Spanish playing cards at Tyntesfield © National Trust / Bob Fowler

Visitors playing in front of Tyntesfield
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Victoriana for May

Families can immerse themselves in Victorian life on weekends in May as Victorian Month returns to the National Trust at Tyntesfield, near Nailsea.

During the bank holiday weekend the Natural Theatre Company returns to Tyntesfield with their walkabout act, having previously performed at Glastonbury Festival, Royal Ascot, and in 48 countries across the world.

Join the governess, kitchen maid, gardener and other staff on the estate as they prepare for a very important occasion: Mr Gibbs’ birthday.

Victorian illusions, trickery and puzzlement will take place on Saturday and Sunday, May 11-12, as Discovery History demonstrate Victorian fairground entertainment. Spin the praxoniscope or the zoetrope and experience TV Victorian style. 

Raphael History, the UK’s longest established historic falconers, return with historic displays on the lawn on the Saturday and Sunday, May 18-19. There’ll be a chance to see the birds up close, and talks will go ahead even in the event of bad weather.

Tyntesfield senior visitor experience officer Malcolm Thorne said: "Tyntesfield’s Victorian month will give visitors an amazing insight into Victorian entertainment.

"It’s a firm favourite in the Tyntesfield calendar, and brings the house and garden to life."

May half-term week, there’ll be a family trail across the estate to celebrate William Gibb’s 227th birthday. Families can create a birthday card, translate the language of flowers and try to find the right key for the lock to the house, given to Victorians on their 21st birthday.

Tyntesfield’s Victorian month events take place on weekends throughout May and during May half-term. 

More information is available on

PHOTOS: Falconry William Pummel and

Visitors Trevor Ray Hart

Daffodils in march at Tyntesfield, Somer
Egg Hunting

Daffodils are out at Tyntesfield

Celebrating Mother's Day at Tyntesfield

Monday to Friday, March 25-29, 4-5pm

Saturday and Sunday, March 30-31, 11am-3pm and noon-4pm         

Why not treat your mum at Tyntesfield this Mother's Day with an afternoon tea, a handmade card, a gift from the garden team, or all of the above?

Price: details on the website, normal admission prices apply.

The Gibbs family Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt

Saturday to Monday, April 6-22, 10am-3.30pm    

Can you find out more about the family of William Gibbs, who lived at Tyntesfield in the 1800s, by matching up the family portraits and completing Victorian games and activities?

Price: £3, normal admission prices apply.

Make a celtic backstool

Saturday and Sunday, April 27-28, 10am-4pm

On this two-day workshop, with the expert guidance of the Somerset Bodgers, you can make a three-legged celtic backstool using traditional woodworking tools and techniques.

Price: £130 including materials, use of tools and hot drinks.

Booking essential: 0344 249 1895. 

Victorian month at Tyntesfield

Saturday, May 4, Sunday, May 26 and daily in half term10.30am-4.30pm

The Victorian era is coming to life at Tyntesfield this May, with fairground entertainment and illusions, horse drawn carriage rides and traditional Victorian falconry displays.

Price: normal admission prices apply.

Seasonal food and craft market

Sunday, May 19, 10am-3pm

From freshly baked bread and fine cheeses to hand-made jewellery and ceramics, there's plenty of seasonal treats for you to discover at an array of local food and craft producers at Tyntesfield.

Price: normal admission prices apply.

For a complete guide to What's On click HERE.


PHOTO: Daffodils at Tyntesfield by William Shaw


Young peeps

Tea Pot

February half term at Tyntesfield

Thursday, February 21

From 11am-3pm you can warm up this winter with a herbal tea-making session and learn all about the amazing properties of herbs. Then create your own Victorian pomander filled with herbal fragrances of your choice.

Price: £4, normal admission prices apply.


TYNTEtots 2019

Storytelling, crafts and games for the two to five-years olds and their families inspired by classic stories including Thumbelina, The Little Red Hen, The Owl And The Pussycat and Peter Rabbit.

Price child £8, two children £14, three children £21, normal admission prices apply.

Here are the dates to storytime for pre-school children at Tyntesfield:

  • Wednesday, February 27

  • Thursday, February 28

  • Wednesday, March 20

  • Thursday, March 21

  • Wednesday, March 24

  • Thursday, March 25

  • Thursday, April 25

  • Thursday, May 23

  • Friday, May 24

The times are 10-11.45am and 1-2.45pm.

Booking essential: 0344 249 1895.

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PLANNING APPLICATION: Wraxall and Failand Parish Council has given a poor reception to expand the old Gibbs estate to accommodate more visitors. The National Trust has put in a planning application to North Somerset Council to build a new £350,000 ticket hub at Tyntesfield. It says the current reception cannot cope with the nearly half a million people visiting the historic tourist attraction annually. But the application submitted in November 2018 has not found favour with the parish council which has lodged an objection citing 'exclusivity' and traffic issues. While Wraxall & Failand parish council is in general supportive of the National Trust and its work at Tyntesfield it has made these comments on the planning application 18/P/4994/FUL. To read more go to the Breaking News page by clicking HERE.

A Very Victorian Christmas at Tyntesfiel
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PHOTOS: Christmas lights glimmers, National Trust volunteers sewing and hand-making Christmas decorations at Tyntesfield. © National Trust/Alana Wright​, National Trust/Owen Roots and National Trust/William Pummell

Tinsel and trimmings at Tyntesfield

The National Trust team at Tyntesfield, near Nailsea, is getting ready for the return of their immersive Victorian Christmas this November.

From Saturday to Wednesday, November 24-January 2, visitors to the Tyntesfield estate 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.

Albinia Rose Gibbs (1876-1941), the eldest of Antony and Janet Gibbs’ three daughters, will be joining the costumed characters in Tyntesfield house this year. A well-travelled young woman, she was known for her sporting prowess, interest in astronomy, and her support of the movement for female access to further education and university. Visitors will be able to speak to her about her interests as she gets ready for her family’s festive celebrations.

National Trust Tyntesfield senior visitor experience officer Malcolm Thorne said: "It’s great to be able to bring Albinia Rose to life this year - she was a fascinating woman, her parents – Antony and Janet – have been a key part of our Christmas celebrations for a few years now so it’ll be nice to bring the family together.’

This year is also the first time that all of the costumes worn at Tyntesfield during the Christmas period have been handmade onsite by a team of National Trust volunteers. The team carefully researched the costumes to ensure they were as authentic as possible - for example the stole worn by the Chaplain is an exact replica of the one worn by the Gibbs family’s chaplain in the Victorian period.

Tyntesfield volunteer costumier Pauline Tillett said: "We’ve built up a store of costumes and materials during the past few years but this is the first time we’ll be completely self-sufficient.

"The team have been working hard since our first sewing session back in the summer and we’re well on track to have everyone dressed by Christmas. It’s a really nice team, and we’ve seen our volunteers’ skills develop over that time."

The costume team aren’t the only team getting crafty this Christmas. All of the decorations on the estate – both inside the house and out in the grounds – have been handmade, either by National Trust volunteers or local expert florist, Sarah Pepper, to traditional Victorian designs.

Meanwhile, a team of staff and volunteers from the estate are busily knitting nativity characters for the festive family spotter trail in the house.

As with last year, the Victorian festivities won’t be limited to the house at Tyntesfield, with outdoor characters and rustic decorations in Home Farm ensuring the whole estate is in the festive spirit.

On select evenings in December, the estate will also be open after hours giving visitors the opportunity to see Tyntesfield in a new light, pick up some presents in the Cow Barn shop, and taste some festive treats in the Cow Barn restaurant.

Tyntesfield is open every day except Christmas Day.

For more details of all the Christmas events and activities at Tyntesfield click HERE.

Tyntesfield boundary wall archway before

Windfall from raffle rebuilds stone wall

A stone archway in the Victorian parkland boundary wall at Tyntesfield near Bristol has been restored thanks to funding raised through the National Trust’s annual raffle.

The restoration of the archway follows on from the successful repair of a 450 metre stretch of the historic boundary wall in 2017.

The continuation of the project to save the mile and half long wall, which is thought to date from the 1880s, was made possible thanks to £2,981 raised through the sale of raffle tickets at Tyntesfield.

National Trust Tyntesfield visitor experience manager Paula Jame said ‘It’s truly wonderful to see the tangible results the raffle can produce and we’d like to thank all of the visitors who took part and supported this work.

"As a conservation charity we rely on fundraising to help us look after the historic sites in our care and stop significant structures like the wall crumbling away.’

Work to repair the archway, which was identified as a priority section of the wall by the National Trust team, began in late July.

Using the same historic techniques that would have been used to first build the wall in the late 19th century, including an authentic lime mortar mix, the team rebuilt the archway over a custom-built frame.

Once the lime mortar was dry, the frame could be removed and the wall on the other side of the arch rebuilt.

National Trust Tyntesfield lead ranger Darren Mait said: ‘This summer was so hot that we had trouble with the lime mortar drying too quickly.

"We had to cover the wall every night with hessian to keep it cool and plastic sheeting to keep in the moisture so the mortar didn’t dry too quickly.’

Tyntesfield boundary wall archway during
Tyntesfield boundary wall archway after

The work was completed by a team of National Trust volunteers and local qualified waller and instructor, Simon Knops, of Bristol based company, Greenspace Walling.During the work to repair the wall, the team also uncovered historic latches and part of a hinge buried in the ground by the archway.

Darren added: "We can assume that there was once a door in the arch – there’s an archway further down the wall that still has its door.

"We think the doors were added after the wall was built because the arches are higher than the walls on either side.

"It gives us an idea of how the Gibbs family who lived here would have used the estate.’

The National Trust team hope to restore this second archway in 2019.

More information on the Tyntesfield estate click HERE.

Tyntesfield poetic pumpkin 1 (c) Nationa

Kitchen garden grows pumpkins for poets...

The National Trust have put a poetic spin on their annual pumpkin display at the Victorian estate of Tyntesfield, near Nailsea, which has been cared for by the conservation charity since 2002.

Every year, the garden team at Tyntesfield create a display of the pumpkins, squashes and gourds grown in the Kitchen Garden on the Victorian estate.

Visitors to the 2017 display will remember the distinctive inscriptions on a selection of the pumpkins, which labelled the pumpkins with their variety.

Tyntesfield gardener Marianne Closius said: "You have to write on them when they’re not too hard – they should be slightly sappy then you can use anything, even a hard pencil, to scratch your words or design into the rind."

This year, a few of the pumpkins have been inscribed with four lines of poetry taken from the inscription on the sundial in the Kitchen Garden, around which they’re now displayed:

Let others tell

Of storms and showers,

I’ll only count

Your sunny hours.

The display is particularly fitting as Tyntesfield’s poet-in-residence, Holly Corfield Carr, reaches the end of her time at this estate after spending the past few months writing and leading workshops in the woodland.

The rest of Tyntesfield’s pumpkins, squashes and gourds will be harvested before the end of September.

Once picked, they will be laid in the glasshouses to gently bake before being displayed in the Orangery next month.

PHOTOS: © National Trust/Alana Wright

Tyntesfield poetic pumpkin 4 (c) Nationa
Tyntesfield pumpkin display 2017 (c) Nat
South Facade at Tyntesfield (c) National

Tall trees

Get to know the tallest tree at Tyntesfield this autumn on new walks.

Visitors to the Victorian estate of Tyntesfield, near Nailsea, which is cared for by conservation charity, the National Trust, will be able to get to know the estate’s tallest tree this autumn.

The giant redwood, which stands at 32m (104ft) tall, was brought to the estate by the Gibbs family, who lived at Tyntesfield from 1844 to 2001.

Visitors to the estate will be able to get up close to the tree, and find out more about this fascinating species, during a series of brand new autumnal events at Tyntesfield.

There are also newly developed golden tree walks.

There are four routes that take in different views across the Somerset hills and the different ages of the trees on the estate as they transform ready for winter.

The walks are marked by handmade golden leaf markers, created using wood felled at Tyntesfield.

National Trust gardens and countryside manager Lisa Topham said: "Autumn is my favourite time of year at Tyntesfield the Gibbs family planted trees from around the world so when autumn hits the garden’s full of incredible colours that change every day."

At weekends throughout October, the National Trust’s volunteer estate guides will be leading guided walks to take in the changing colour and reveal more about the history of Tyntesfield and the estate’s most unique and rare living treasures, like the giant redwood.

Closer to the ground, family visitors to Tyntesfield can take full advantage of the season by playing in fallen leaves, building dens, wanging wellies and conquering a woodland tree maze as an autumn explorer.

At the weekends families can also take a piece of Tyntesfield with them by decorating a willow crown with fallen leaves and fallen flowers from the estate. 

For those looking for something a little spookier, there is a mystery to be solved in half term on the gothic tales family trail, with a pumpkin prize for those brave enough to take part.

Up in the woods there is more spooky fun to be had on a Terrifying Tyntesfield bookable family session with seasonal activities, crafts and games.

More information click HERE.

Morning light on the South Terrace (c) N
The Grounds in Autumn (c) National Trust

PHOTOS: From top south facade at Tyntesfield by John Millar, morning light on the south terrace and the grounds in autumn both by Alana Wright

Homes & Gardens on TV

English gardener, presenter, poet, and novelist Alan Titchmarsh is back for a second series of Secrets Of The National Trust and is coming to a stately home near you.

Three places in the south west will feature including Tyntesfield for this getting a behind-the-scenes look at some of Britain’s most intriguing historic homes and gardens. 

Alan embarks on the second half of his 12-part journey by visiting a different property each week to unlock its secrets.

Along the way he’ll be joined by some familiar faces, who will uncover tales of high society, life below stairs and the trials, triumphs and scandals of our great estates.

Three of our special places in the South West will feature in this part of the series, including Kingston Lacy and Corfe Castle who are featured in the programme on Wednesday, August 1, and Tyntesfield on Wednesday, August 8.

At Kingston Lacy Alan unearths the story of William John Bankes, an Egyptologist and aesthete who filled his family mansion with treasures while exiled abroad, but never got to see the home he lovingly created.

Joan Bakewell hears more about specialist analysis work on a thought to be rare painting and Alan will be hearing about the trust’s conservation grazing work being undertaken by some award-winning Red Devon cattle

At Corfe Castle, Oz Clarke learns about William’s great, great, great grandmother Dame Mary Bankes, who during the Civil War resisted a siege by a Roundhead [or Parliamentarian] army of 600 as she defended the castle with only 80 men.

And at Tyntesfield, Alan learns about the rise of William Gibbs, who became the richest non-aristocrat in 19th-century Britain through the trade of guano - otherwise known as bird droppings.

Meanwhile, chef Tony Singh and presenter Miriam O’Reilly explore beyond the Victorian Gothic house to discover the estate’s gardens.

The series at 9pm on Channel 5.

Estate children summer day schools

Children invited to experience life as a Victorian, in summer day camps at Tyntesfield

This summer the Victorian estate of Tyntesfield, cared for by conservation charity the National Trust, has announced it will be inviting children to experience life as a Victorian in a series of kids-only day camps.

The Victorian Explorers: Tyntesfield through Time day sessions, which are aimed at those aged 7-12 years old, will allow children to see the estate through the eyes of the people that would have historically lived at and visited Tyntesfield.

The Tyntesfield estate, near Nailsea, was once the home of the Gibbs family.

The wealthy City of London merchant William Gibbs, bought Tyntesfield for his growing family in 1843 and the family transformed Tyntesfield into the Gothic extravaganza it is today creating the perfect place for four generations of family life.

Tyntesfield learning and development officer Rachel Greeves said: "Over the years, Tyntesfield was home to a lot of children.

"Like many Victorian families, the Gibbs family was on the large side. In fact, the 1891 census shows us that Anthony Gibbs and his wife Janet Louisa had nine children under the age of 18 living at home’.

"Although Victorian childhood doesn’t have the best reputation (and rightly so), I can’t think of many better places to grow up as a child living in the Victorian times.

"Not only did the Gibbs children live in a beautiful house, there was a farm to explore, trees to run around in the woods, gardens to play hide and seek in, and even a tennis court and boating lake!"

The Victorian Explorers: Tyntesfield Through Time day-camps will be a chance for children to discover the kind of activities Tyntesfield’s younger residents would have once enjoyed themselves. Children will have the opportunity to take part in a range of activities across the estate including growing and tasting food, clay modelling, and taking part in some exciting games in the woodland. The sessions will provide an immersive experience for inquisitive children to part-take in some historical crafts and play, as well as offering a great opportunity for children to get out of the house and into nature.

Inspired by the historically used commonplace books, which were used by many people in the past, including poet and evangalist Hannah More who wrote about her time in the woodlands of the Tyntesfield estate, children will also be able to create their own diaries to document their summer adventure at Tyntesfield, and to keep as a memento.

Tyntesfield learning assistant Tish Russell said: ‘It’s great to be able to bring Tyntesfield’s Victorian history to life for children and to help them explore what life would have been like for the children living at Tyntesfield.

"This year’s Tyntesfield through Time is a brand new event for 2018 and it’s bound to be a lot of fun!’

Victorian Explorers: Tyntesfield through Time will take place on various dates throughout the summer holidays; each day will begin at 10.30am, when children will be signed in and greeted by the learning team at Home Farm. The group will then be taken on a tour around the estate to take part in the different hands-on activities, before stopping for lunch. Children are invited to bring a packed lunch for a picnic in the beautiful surroundings. After the picnic, the group will take part in the day’s final activities, before making their way back to Home Farm for a pick up at 2.30pm.

The sessions will be led by Tyntesfield’s learning team, who run all of the school visits during term-time, the team have plenty of experience with school-aged children and have all been DBS checked. Children are welcome to book on to the sessions with their friends or siblings, or come independently, as there will be plenty of opportunity to make new friends on the day. To ensure that every child has the very best day possible, the sessions will run in small groups, therefore booking is essential to avoid disappointment.

More information is available on

Poetry seeds

Celebrate midsummer with an evening of music and poetry at Tyntesfield in the Victorian kitchen garden.

The Victorian estate was bought by the Gibbs family, who famously made their money on the trade of guano, in the 1840s.

It has been in the care of conservation charity, the National Trust, since 2002.

Since then, the Tyntesfield team have welcomed visitors to a range of events inspired by and in celebration of the estate’s Victorian history, but the midsummer event on Sunday, June 24, is a new addition to the calendar.

After a sold out Christmas concert in Tyntesfield’s chapel last year, Bristol-based chamber choir, Spiro, who first formed in September 2017, are returning to perform.

They will be performing songs inspired by the flowers and plants that grow across the estate.

Tyntesfield senior visitor experience officer Malcolm Thorne said: "We’re really looking forward to welcoming Spiro back to Tyntesfield, they always put on an incredible show and it’s great to be able to support a new local group."

Spiro’s performance will be interspersed with poetry readings from Tyntesfield’s poet-in-residence Holly Corfield Carr.

During her residency at Tyntesfield, Holly is publishing a sequence of new poems in response to the life and legacy of 18th evanganlist and poet Hannah More.

The event is in the Victorian kitchen garden  which still provides food to the estate to this day.

Tyntesfield senior gardener Marianne Closius said: "Every week we send ingredients up the drive to the Cow Barn restaurant to be used in recipes across the menu, with less than a mile between the two, the produce couldn’t really be more local."

As well as the music and poetry, there will be refreshments available throughout the event including drinks, ice-creams and a barbecue stocked with produce from Tyntesfield’s tenant farmers.

Tickets £12 must be booked in advance.For more information click HERE.

Hannah More's legacy

for woodland writing

Award-winning Bristol poet, Holly Corfield Carr, is the new poet-in-residence at Tyntesfield, the Victorian estate near Nailsea cared for by the National Trust.

Holly, who has previously held residencies at The Wordsworth Trust and the University of Bristol amongst others, has been named as poet-in-residence as part of a project inspired by 18th century poet, Hannah More.

During her residency Holly will be hosting a series of woodland writing workshops in Tyntesfield’s woodland, and has produced a sequence of new poems in response to Hannah More’s poetry and the landscape that inspired her.

Tyntesfield curator Sue Hayward said: "It’s wonderful to think that the natural beauty of the woodland was a crucial source of inspiration for one of Bristol’s greatest writers and we’re delighted to welcome Holly to rediscover the poetry of the landscape and explore Hannah’s legacy. ’

"More’s feminist legacy is complicated, and the opportunity to work with her poetry was both thrilling and troubling, while she set up schools for girls across Bristol including Nailsea and campaigned for improvements and access to women’s education throughout her life, she celebrated women’s power as a limited and very local thing."

Holly said: "My work at Tyntesfield this summer will explore More’s dedication to the local landscape and consider what this means for feminists, environmentalists and poets.

"My work at Tyntesfield this summer explores More’s ‘little elevation’ as the ideal position, a place in which we prioritise expertise, cooperation and care, and as part of this I have produced a book of poems, Indifferent Cresses, which takes its name from Hannah More’s complaint that women’s writing is sometimes as celebrated as a salad."

Holly took her inspiration for Indifferent Cresses from the Victorian books, British Grasses and Wildflowers and Their Teachings, both purchased by the Gibbs family shortly after their arrival at Tyntesfield and still found in the Tyntesfield library today.

Indifferent Cresses replicates the style of the Victorian ‘herbarium’ by featuring a combination of poems, field notes and pressed natural material found in the woodland at Tyntesfield.

Alongside Indifferent Cresses, which was written onsite in the woods at Tyntesfield and is published by the National Trust, Holly will be leading writing workshops across the summer with guest writers:

  • critic Srishti Krishnamoorthy-Cavell;

  • poet Elizabeth Jane-Burnett; and

  • novelist, Abi Andrews.

Holly’s residency will end with a special Little Elevations event on National Poetry Day, Thursday, October 4, at Spike Island in Bristol.

PHOTOS: Holly Corfield Carr running a poetry workshop with Hannah More Primary School, St Philips, Bristol; and visitors walking in the cut flower garden which is part of the kitchen garden at Tyntesfield © National Trust/Alana Wright

Tyntesfield open  new poet's walk 

A new poetry walk inspired by evangalist and poet, Hannah More, opens at Tyntesfield near Nailsea.

Bristol-born Hannah More (1745-1833) was one of the most influential women of her day.

A successful poet, playwright and campaigner, she was a champion of social reform, female education and the abolition of slavery.

For six years, she spent much of her time on Tyntesfield’s neighbouring estate, Belmont (now privately owned and not open to the public), and was inspired to write poetry by the sheer beauty of her surroundings.

Miss More was a regular guest at the Belmont estate through her relationship with the owner, William Turner. During their courtship they laid out the planting and paths in the woodland, part of which is now on the Tyntesfield estate, and Turner arranged for More’s poems to be painted onto wooden boards and attached to trees along the paths.

It is these boards that the National Trust team at Tyntesfield have replicated to form the new poetry walk through the woods at Tyntesfield.

Tyntesfield curator Sue Hayward said: "Hannah More’s poems provide a fascinating glimpse into the early career of this fiercely intelligent and passionate poet.

‘It’s wonderful to think that the natural beauty of the woodland was a crucial source of inspiration for one of Bristol’s greatest writers.

"We’re thrilled that our visitors will be able to explore the beauty of the Tyntesfield landscape through the poems written here."

More’s relationship with Turner eventually ended in heartbreak.

The pair were engaged but Turner postponed their wedding three times over six years before eventually breaking the engagement altogether.

As compensation, Turner offered More £200 a year which she originally refused but later accepted.

This income allowed her to be independent, at a time when women rarely were, and left her free to pursue her literary career.

Her poem, The Bleeding Rock, inspired by the rocks on Turner’s estate, catapulted her to success in London’s traditionally male-dominated literary circles and she became a member of the exclusive Bluestocking Society.

National Trust. project manager Alex Smith said: "Evidence indicates that Hannah More’s poetry boards were still in situ when William Gibbs purchased the estate in 1844.

"We know that in around 1900 the Gibbs family arranged for the boards to be restored and reinstated in the landscape.

"By reinstating them at Tyntesfield today, we hope our visitors will again be inspired by Hannah More and by the beautiful landscape."

Visitors to Tyntesfield can now follow in the Gibbs family’s footsteps to find Hannah More’s poetry boards through the woodland at Tyntesfield and read newly rediscovered poems unearthed by the team’s research.

These poems may never have been published in print in More’s lifetime.

Walking maps can be picked up from the National Trust Ticket Office.

Alongside the new poetry walk, and as part of the National Trust’s 2018 Women And Power programme, the team at Tyntesfield have welcomed a poet-in-residence to the estate. award-winning Bristol-based poet, Holly Corfield Carr, has been exploring Hannah More’s legacy through a brand new collection of poetry, due for publication later this year.

Holly will also be running a series of writing workshops with guest poets across the summer.

For more information about Hannah More, the new poetry walk, and Holly Corfield Carr’s work click HERE.


PHOTOS: From top left clockwise 1) Visitors reading one of the new poetry boards in the woodland at Tyntesfield © National Trust/Alana Wright; 2) Visitors walking in the woodland at Tyntesfield © National Trust Images/John Millar​; 3) Hannah More by F Reynolds © Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, UK. Purchased with the assistance of the subscribers, 19.13./Bridgeman Images

Stepping back May time

The Victorian estate of Tyntesfield, near Nailsea, cared for by conservation charity, the National Trust, sees the return of its annual Victorian month this May with brand new events appearing alongside old favourites.

Returning events include Victorian naval demonstrations, this year provided by the Bluejackets Re-enactment Society, and Victorian falconry displays, with Raphael Falconry, both firm favourites in this yearly celebration of Tyntesfield’s Victorian history.

Tyntesfield senior visitor experience officer Malcolm Thorne said: "It’s great to be able to bring Tyntesfield’s Victorian history to life for visitors and we’re really excited to offer some new events for the first time this year."

New to the Victorian month line-up this year are Discover History.

They’re bringing a Victorian careers fair ready to sign Tyntesfield’s visitors up for the ‘worst children’s jobs in Victorian history.