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Tyntesfield’s garden secrets

Exterior of Chaplain's House, Tyntesfield, Wraxall, Somerset © Mike Henton

Exterior of Chaplain's House, Tyntesfield, Wraxall, Somerset © Mike Henton

Visitors to Tyntesfield are blown away by the splendour of this fairytale mansion, perched high on a ridge overlooking the patchwork fields of the Yeo Valley. Much of Tyntesfield’s appeal is the house itself – a Gothic-revival extravaganza of spiralling turrets, stone carvings and high, arched windows that was built in the 1860s for William Gibbs, a wealthy merchant.

But a huge part of what makes Tyntesfield such a special place to explore is the gardens and parkland: over 500 acres of woodlands and arboretums bursting with trees, formal gardens glowing with colour, rolling countryside and a wonderful walled kitchen garden.

Have you ever wondered about how such varied gardens are created and maintained for all to enjoy?

Now is your chance to find out. A new exhibition, entitled ‘Garden stories, hidden labours’ offers visitors an insight into the behind-the-scenes work of the dedicated team of gardeners and volunteers at Tyntesfield. Photographer Amanda Harman has captured the ordinary, day-to-day tasks that go into creating extraordinary gardens in exquisite detail. From the protection of plants from insects, disease and weather, the nurturing of young plants in glasshouses to the gathering of flowers to use in the house, Amanda’s prints reveal just how much care is taken over the gardens. The exhibition is housed in the estate’s former piggery, and runs from Sunday 16th November until Friday 28th February.

Of course, there’s nothing quite like discovering the gardens for yourself. So why not take some inspiration from the exhibition and start your own garden story at Tyntesfield with a stay in one of three National Trust holiday cottages on the estate. All three cottages offer guests the chance to explore the gardens outside of opening hours, as well as a complimentary visit to the house.

For a peaceful retreat for two, look no further than Summerhouse Cottage. This cosy, mid-nineteenth-century cottage sits in a quiet spot on the edge of woodland, and may have been used as a hunting lodge. Spend days exploring the woodland walks, and evenings curled up by the open fire.

If you’re planning a family adventure, Chaplain’s Lodge could fit the bill. This mid-Victorian former gate lodge sleeps 5 on the Tyntesfield estate, perfect for climbing trees in the woods or picnicking in the parkland.

Experience the estate’s Victorian heyday with a holiday in Chaplain’s House, built in the late 1880s for the Gibbs family’s chaplain. This spacious house sleeps six and has been beautifully restored to its original Gothic-revival style, while offering modern comforts.

Wherever you choose to stay, you’re guaranteed to find each cottage a truly special base from which to explore the house, gardens and parklands of Tyntesfield.

Our selection

  • Exterior of Chaplain's Lodge, Tyntesfield, Wraxall, Somerset © Mike Henton

    Chaplain's Lodge

    Wraxall , Somerset

    Built in the 1840s, a fine example of a picturesque mid-Victorian gate lodge.

  • Exterior of Chaplain's House, Tyntesfield, Wraxall, Somerset © Mike Henton

    Chaplain's House

    Wraxall , Somerset

    A fine example of a late Victorian estate house set on the north side of Tyntesfield Gardens.

  • Exterior of Summerhouse Cottage, Tyntesfield, Wraxall, Somerset © Mike Henton

    Summerhouse Cottage

    Wraxall , Somerset

    Delightful mid C19th cottage on the Tyntesfield estate on a quiet track on the edge of woodland.