Tyntesfield | Unexpected Delights of Design
The beginning of February meant venturing to the Bath City Farm (surely the views across Bath are the best to be had?) Snorting pigs and indian runner ducks excitedly greeted us and fresh air and mud wiped the cobwebs from such a snowy January from us. Next on our hit list was Tyntesfield National Trust near Bristol – a spectacular Victorian Gothic Revival House with parkland.
Despite it being breathtakingly beautiful it was actually the work the National Trust have done to the Grade II* Listed original Victorian farm and outbuildings that we were most struck by. Such a sensitive conversion of the buildings which were completely derelict initially. Builders are reported to have found a graffiti note by the original Victorian craftsmen giving their names and stating ‘the bloody fool that finds this writes the date’… so they did!
The stonework is simply painted and they’ve kept agrictultural finishes so your views are what you would expect from a cowshed. We were intrigued with the various glass finishes – are these original?
The patina of wood creates a beautiful tapistry when you look up and they have preserved all the original animal’s drinking bowls, cow byres and feeding stalls which separate the seating places and afford privacy in such a large space – this adds to the sense of fun when you arrive. Large roof lights flood the space beautifully.
The building houses a shop, workshop space and the restaurant downstairs and as you climb the stairs (or take the lift) you arrive at a steel framed bridge walkway which guides you above all the aforementioned to walk out into a courtyard of new farm buildings… the building was built in the 1880s and split over two levels which in itself is impressive. The upper yard also includes the piggery energy centre where visitors can learn about the green credentials of the building, including biomass boiler, solar thermal panels and photovoltaic cells.
We loved the shadow effect of different aligned wood on each other. Such strong lines.
And lastly, the ticket and information centre is made from straw bales and clad beneath what we believe to have been the original wood facade (or else they have done a brilliant job!). The result is that it looks like an agricultural building from the outside which means it fits beautifully in with its landscape which does include straw bale barns and fields. Well worth a visit – more info here.