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Friday, 19 April, 2002, 13:20 GMT 14:20 UK
Historic estate goes on sale
Tyntesfield house
Gothic Tyntesfield was built with profits from guano
The National Trust wants to buy an historic country estate near Bristol in which Madonna and Kylie Minogue are reported to have shown an interest.

Lord Wraxhall's estate officially goes on sale on Friday following his death last year.

The Victorian Tyntesfield house, which has 43 bedrooms, is second on a list of properties which the National Trust wants to preserve.

But it will have to find 15m if it wants to secure the estate, which includes 1,000 acres of farmland, 650 acres of woodlands, 30 houses and cottages, and its own chapel.

Madonna
Is Madonna looking for a new home?

The main house, built in 1875, contains many original features.

Its contents are expected to fetch a further 15m.

They include painted and papered walls and furniture with its original upholstery.

The interior decoration at the house, including painting and stencils, was largely done by John Crace, who redecorated Windsor Castle for the state visit of the Emperor Napoleon III in the 1850s.

Heritage

Details of the sale are expected to be announced on Friday including the asking price for the estate.

The sale is being handled by FPD Savills. The director of its Bristol office, Mark Syrett, said: "This is probably the most important estate to be brought to the market in recent years."

A National Trust spokeswoman said the organisation was talking to other conservation bodies to find a heritage solution.

Auctioneers Christie's is planning a sale of the contents of the house in September.

Lord Wraxall, who died last year, was the great-grandson of William Gibbs, who made his fortune importing guano from Peru to be used as fertiliser.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's John Kay reports from the Wraxhall Estate
"Several celebrities are rumoured to be interested because the estate is so private"

Click here to go to Bristol
See also:

13 Mar 02 | England
'Remarkable' house for sale
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