This week, for the first time in two years, visitors will finally be able to see North Somerset’s Tyntesfield without scaffolding, as the Victorian mansion and chapel were re-opened to the public on Monday, February 28th…
Repairs and restoration work have meant that the National Trust property has been hidden behind one of the largest temporary freestanding roof structures in Europe (the size of 10 tennis courts) for over 18 months.
Now, however, the buildings have been restored…and an amazing time lapse video (shown below) filmed over the 14 weeks that it took to remove the scaffolding captures the unveiling of the mansion in all its glory. Taking a frame every 10 minutes between 7am and 6pm, 5 days a week, the film recorded the entire process of dismantling: the removal of 28 miles of scaffolding poles, 11 miles of scaffold planks and over 24,000 fittings. Pretty impressive, I’m sure you’ll agree.
[vimeo 18439789 w=400 h=225]
What does all of this have to do with food? The answer’s simple. Funded with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund, Tyntesfield now boasts a new visitor centre…including a restaurant and cafe which will showcase the very best local and seasonal food.
Dishes served at the restaurant will be made using fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs from Tyntesfield’s working Kitchen Garden. As Katy Johnston, Tyntesfield’s catering manager, explains:
“Virtually all our produce has been sourced locally, with most of the producers based in Bristol and the rest within a 30 mile radius or less. Expect to try everything from slow roast Somerset pork belly with roasted Chew Valley butternut squash, pearl barley and tarragon jus to a traditional rhubarb crumble made with fruit from the Kitchen Garden.”
Home-grown food heroes are being championed too, with Jon Thorner’s butcher in Shepton Mallet providing everything from top quality Mendip beef to succulent free-range pork. Gloucester Road’s Breadstore will be supplying everything from traditional loaves and baguettes to speciality breads. Lovely Drinks will be keeping visitors hydrated with their elderflower cordials – the elderflower is fittingly grown on Gibbs’ land at Barrow Gurney (the Gibbs family built and lived at Tyntesfield for four generations), and Box Bush Farm will be supplying Somerset ciders and apple juices. For those with a sweet tooth, Hill Cottage Bakery, just outside Bristol, will be whipping up delicious brownies and cakes.
Just seven miles south-west of Bristol, Tyntesfield’s visitor centre, Home Farm, is free to visit and open every day. Even better (at least, for those who, like me, have no car), there are buses directly from central Bristol to Tyntesfield: you can catch either the 354 or the 361.
For more information, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/tyntesfield or call 01275 461 900.