My Glorious Gardens series: Tyntesfield on Fathers Day 2017.

Our son was training in Bristol this Sunday so we decided to make the most of the lovely weather and take a trip to Tyntesfield, near Bristol. We went to look at the gardens but you can’t go somewhere like Tyntesfield without visiting the house too!

Tyntesfield was bought by the National Trust in 2001 with help from the local community. It was extended as a family home in the 1860’s by William Gibbs who, at that time, was the richest commoner in England, having made his fortune from the sale of guano which was used as fertiliser. When it was sold, the owner of the time, Richard Gibbs was living in just 3 rooms as it needed so much work doing to it. The work that the National Trust has done is clear yet impressive. The house is a Victorian Gothic Revival House of wonder with over 50,000 pieces of interest. I was chatting to one of the guides who said that nothing was ever thrown away meaning that this unique property and it’s contents have been preserved in their entirety. It certainly feels as if you are stepping into a bygone age at Tyntesfield and it an absolute joy!

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Tyntesfield was used by Clifton College in the second World War-can you imagine going to school here?

As you walk towards the house, you can take the route through the Rose Garden. I was really interested to see this as we want to try to create something similar in the old house garden. It was stunning, built on a slight hill with lovely views.

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The rose archway leading to a raised terrace.
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Me walking through the rose arch.
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The view from the terrace was amazing!
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I loved the Box hedging; unfortunately some had blight so was cordoned off.
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Gothic statues at the bottom of the steps leading to the Rose Garden
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In each corner were small gazebos and beautiful Acers

We arrived quite early so missed the crowds but there were many people enjoying the classic car collection for Fathers Day.

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The main entrance with the classic car collection
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More classic cars!
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The gothic turrets and features were beautiful
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The main front entrance

We were lucky to get to see the house. They restrict the number of visitors so you do need to get here early. The house opened at 11am and we went in before the crowds!

Inside is truly a masterpiece of Gothic craftsmanship. The interiors are not to my taste but you can not fail to be impressed by all the detail. The ceilings are ornately carved and the fire places are large stone affairs. From the Billiard room, a masculine space designed for leisurely pursuits to the grand dining room with it’s table laid for dinner, it’s a beautiful place to wander.

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The ornate staircase
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Wow! What a fireplace!
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The Sitting Room

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The grand Dining Room with original wallpaper
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I was amazed to see so many pieces still in the house such as this picnic set and travelling luggage in the kitchen.
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The detail of the roof in the Billiard Room.
The family also added a grand and frankly, enormous Chapel. It was completed in the 1870’s just after William Gibbs died. It is larger than most village churches and has all the original chairs and altar furniture.

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The chapel at Tyntesfield

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The Chapel on the outside
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The Altar
We then wandered to the Kitchen garden which was huge! The garden produced enough for the entire estate and the family even had produce brought to them weekly when they were at their London residence.

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The walled kitchen garden
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The walled kitchen garden at Tyntesfield
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The herbaceous borders near the extensive greenhouses
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The orangery.
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Inside the orangery

By this time we were boiling hot and had to get back to collect our son. We stayed about 3 hours but this is definitely a place that you could stay all day. I feel I need to go back to see it all again as I expect we missed quite a lot! Being National Trust members means we can easily go back whenever we wish.

Tyntesfield has got to be the most impressive house I have visited recently. It deserves more attention and I’m so glad the National Trust have done such a great job in preserving it.

I will leave you with some more beautiful photographs of a fabulous few hours!

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The Rose Garden
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Fab gothic bench!

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View from the Master Bedroom
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Formal planting at the front of the house

Part of #MyGloriousGardens series.

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My Glorious Gardens series: Prior Park Landscape Gardens in Bath.

In this Glorious Gardens post, I went to the National Trust gardens in Bath called The Prior Park Landscape Gardens. This garden was created in the 18th Century by Ralph Allen following advice from Capability Brown. His former home is now a school called Prior Park College, so it is just the gardens that can be visited but how splendid they are!

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The Palladian bridge at Prior Park Gardens

They are dominated by one of only four Palladian bridges of this design in the world and are set in a deep wooded valley just on the way out of the city of Bath. Visiting in Spring sees masses of wild garlic along the paths and in the valley but in Autumn, I can imagine the colours must be superb.

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The woodland paths

The gardens are a National Trust property and there are various trails for children to take part in. My favourite is The Rotten Trail where children can learn about decay in the garden! It is very hilly and so very young children or people with wheel chairs would need to take care on the steep paths. I followed the marked walk all the way around the garden and it took me (a very fast walker) about an hour but you could easily spend half or a whole day here. There are lots of places to stop for a picnic and a lovely cafe serving light refreshments including sandwiches, drinks and ice-creams. The only difficulty is that there is no parking on site so you need to catch a bus from the city centre. Dogs are allowed on a lead.

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The wild garlic in the valley
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The swing with a view!

There is a small playground for children and a great swing with a view towards Prior Park College!

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The view towards the college from the bridge

I enjoyed reading all the graffiti on the bridge itself; some was dated over 200 years ago!

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Graffiti on the Palladian bridge at Prior Park Gardens
This is not a garden full of flowers but is a garden of note as it has spectacular views and is not very crowded due to it being quite tricky to get to. You can also access the Bath Skyline walk from here which is 500 acres around the city.

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View of the Palladian bridge with Prior Park College beyond.
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