September 8th, 2009

Wanaka tree

The late summer tints of Tyntesfield

On Sunday morning I went to Tyntesfield House. Tyntesfield is a Victorian Gothic mansion that has deteriorated over the years. I had never been there before even though it is a few kilometres south of Bristol and in an area I know fairly well. It's a really interesting place.

It came into the hands of the National Trust only a few years ago and needed a lot of restoration and many years work done. So, the Trust decided to use it as a public example of the work they do. Rather than completing the work and then opening it up to the public, they opened it straight away and have continued the restoration work in full public gaze. This means that, as a visitor, you get to see the work going on and, if you go back regularly, the progress that is being made.

I had a few interesting moments soon after I arrived. The first was in the car park. As with all these kind of places there was an attendant in the car park just making sure that people parked sensibly. He waved me into a space and then told me where to go to get to the reception for the house and gardens. As I was walking away a couple were getting out of their car. Unfortunately, the man slipped over on the gravel just as he was taking his first steps.
The woman turned to him and said, 'What did you do that for?'
The car park attendant turned to them and said, 'Well you married him!'
She replied by saying, 'We're not married.'
And quick as a flash the attendant said, 'Well, let that be a lesson to you!'
I was giggling away merrily as I walked along the path to the reception.

At the reception I flashed my membership ticket and the chap behind the desk then explained that I should watch the video running in a covered barn I had to walk through because it would explain why there was a bit of scaffolding about. I did and there certainly was - a bit of scaffolding about, as you will see if you open the cut and see some of the photos I took there.

I was really taken by this 'cat-scratched sky' as I walked down the path to the house and gardens. Next time I will look out for the Mark of Zorro - you never know.

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