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Tuesday, 6 August, 2002, 01:37 GMT 02:37 UK
Trust handed keys to Gothic mansion
Tyntesfield House
Tyntesfield is a neo-Gothic spectacle
An historic country house which was saved for the nation after a successful fundraising appeal is being handed over to its new owners on Tuesday.

The National Trust will receive the keys to 19th century Tyntesfield House, near Bristol, after its bid was accepted by estate agents in June.

The exact purchase price remains undisclosed, but is thought to be in the region of 24m.

The main hall
Picture courtesy of National Trust and Andreas von Einsiedel
The National Trust was able to buy the property after the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) pledged 17.4m towards the purchase.

Contributions were also made by private benefactors, including two separate donations of 4m and 1m by individuals who wish to remain anonymous.

The National Trust's "Save Tyntesfield Campaign" raised 1.5m from the public.

The neo-Gothic mansion has been described as "the last great Victorian house" and speculation mounted that pop stars Madonna and Kylie Minogue were both interested in buying the property.

British empire gems

The 127-year-old, 43-bedroom palace set in 2,000 acres of farmland and woodland, went on the market in April, following the death of Lord Wraxall last summer.

Tyntesfield was created by William Gibbs, who made his fortune importing guano and nitrate from South America for use as an agricultural fertiliser.

The billiard room
Picture courtesy of National Trust and Andreas von Einsiedel
The Victorian entrepreneur used his enormous wealth to turn the modest house that existed on the site into a spectacular Gothic Revival extravaganza.

The grade one listed home is renowned for its sumptuous private chapel, an unrivalled collection of Victorian art and 500 acres of beautiful landscaped garden, park and farm land.

It is also crammed full of relics from the British empire.

Mark Girouard, author of the book The Victorian Country House, said: "There is no other Victorian country house which so richly represents its age as Tyntesfield."

It recently emerged that the house is home to a colony of rare Greater Horseshoe bats.


Click here to go to Bristol
See also:

01 Jul 02 | England
31 May 02 | England
30 Apr 02 | England
19 Apr 02 | England
13 Mar 02 | England
23 Nov 01 | England
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