Sunday, October 07, 2007
Another world contd......
I have looked forward to visiting Tyntesfield for so long that I thought I was bound to be disappointed. That happens sometimes doesn't it, the anticipation is better than the event? In this case it turned out to be everything I thought it would be and more. I think in the past I have visited and enjoyed historic houses and castles with little thought to how they are maintained. Here at Tyntesfield you can see what is involved. It is little short of miraculous.
The house was in a a state of decay, the roof still is still leaking and apparently the upper floor is strewn with buckets to catch the drips and some of out buildings are almost derelict. At present you arrive at a run down collection of stables and farm buildings which are serving as the visitors centre.
Inside a summerhouse.
Only rooms on the ground floor are open at present but they are fascinating. In each room there was a volunteer guide and they were both knowledgeable and amusing. I wish I could show you photographs of the Library where the shelves have a border of tooled leather and the oppulence of the Drawing Room which could double as a ballroom. As you pass through the rooms you come across people with light boxes. They are taking part in the massive task of preparing the inventory, each cup and saucer, walking stick and spoon is being photographed.
There was no mains water to the house and this is now being laid on and because of this we had a bonus, after we had visited the amazing chapel which is based on the Sainte Chapelle in Paris our exit was by the corridor which the family would have used to attend sevices(twice a day!) and along a corridor where we were allowed to peep into just one of the bedrooms. This room was full of furniture rails of clothes, racks of hats and piles linens, boxes of goodness knows what treasures. There are 40 bedrooms on the upper floors!!!!
The gardens have had a huge amount of time spent on them and we passed a group of young people from a local school who were off to do some more clearing in the woods and shrubberies.
Everyone we spoke to who is connected to the house appear to be in love with it. I wanted to move house so that I could go and volunteer to be part of this amazing work.
The National Trust protects and makes available all these wonderful pieces of our history,"for ever and for everyone". When so much of our land is disappearing under concrete their work becomes even more vital and the places they preserve more precious.
This is the page for my book. The background is a piece of waxed paper that I did ages ago (can't quite remember how!!!)