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Getting ready for Christmas at Tyntesfield, near Bristol

8th November 2018

Categories: Latest News

The National Trust team at Tyntesfield, near Bristol, are getting ready for the return of their immersive Victorian Christmas this November.


Image credit: William Pummell

From 24 November to 2 January 2019, visitors to the Tyntesfield estate will be able to experience the festive life of its Victorian owners; the Gibbs and their estate workers, as they prepare for and enjoy the festive period.

Albinia Rose Gibbs (1876-1941), the eldest of Antony and Janet Gibbs’ three daughters, will be joining the costumed characters in Tyntesfield house this year. A well-travelled young woman, she was known for her sporting prowess, interest in astronomy, and her support of the movement for female access to further education and university. Visitors will be able to speak to her about her interests as she gets ready for her family’s festive celebrations.

‘It’s great to be able to bring Albinia Rose to life this year - she was a fascinating woman,’ says Malcolm Thorne, Senior Visitor Experience Officer for the National Trust at Tyntesfield, ‘her parents – Antony and Janet – have been a key part of our Christmas celebrations for a few years now so it’ll be nice to bring the family together.’


Image credit: Owen Roots

This year is also the first time that all of the costumes worn at Tyntesfield over the Christmas period have been handmade onsite by a team of National Trust volunteers. The team carefully researched the costumes to ensure they were as authentic as possible - for example the stole worn by the Chaplain is an exact replica of the one worn by the Gibbs family’s chaplain in the Victorian period.

‘We’ve built up a store of costumes and materials over the past few years but this is the first time we’ll be completely self-sufficient,’ explains Pauline Tillett, volunteer costumier at Tyntesfield, ‘the team have been working hard since our first sewing session back in the summer and we’re well on track to have everyone dressed by Christmas. It’s a really nice team, and we’ve seen our volunteers’ skills develop over that time.’

The costume team aren’t the only team getting crafty this Christmas. All of the decorations on the estate – both inside the house and out in the grounds – have been handmade, either by National Trust volunteers or local expert florist, Sarah Pepper, to traditional Victorian designs. Meanwhile, a team of staff and volunteers from the estate are busily knitting nativity characters for the festive family spotter trail in the house.

As with last year, the Victorian festivities won’t be limited to the house at Tyntesfield, with outdoor characters and rustic decorations in Home Farm ensuring the whole estate is in the festive spirit. On select evenings in December, the estate will also be open after hours giving visitors the opportunity to see Tyntesfield in a new light, pick up some presents in the Cow Barn shop, and taste some festive treats in the Cow Barn restaurant.

Tyntesfield is open every day between 24 November and 2 January except Christmas Day.

Details of all the Christmas events and activities at Tyntesfield are available on www.nationaltrust.org.uk/tyntesfield

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