Christmas at Tyntesfield near Portishead

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By Carol_Deacon | Friday, December 13, 2013, 17:46

One of the tallest Christmas trees in the National Trust has been set up inside Tyntesfield, the Victorian gothic mansion near Bristol.

The 26ft high tree is the tallest to be brought inside the building – and one of the tallest trees in a National Trust property – and is the centre piece for a range of events this month.

Tyntesfield visitor services manager Jon Ducker said: "We know of one 31ft high tree in a National Trust property in Cumbria, but that is a castle so they have a little more room.

"It is certainly the biggest tree brought into Tyntesfield as far as we're aware and makes quite a feature in the hall. 

"Manoeuvring the tree in carefully so as not to cause any damage was quite a task but it then took a team of 20 staff and volunteers to create the magic with many boxes of baubles, lights and other traditional Christmas decorations

"It is one of two trees inside the house at the moment with five in total, creating a Victorian Christmas throughout the house much as it might have been when the Gibbs family lived here."

Tyntesfield house is now open on Monday to Friday but closed on Thursday in the run up to Christmas. 

At weekends special tours of the house have been arranged as part of a new experience - 'A very Victorian Christmas'. 

Run in association with the acclaimed Pantaloons Theatre Company, visitors will be taken on a Victorian romp around the house by four special characters. 

Younger visitors may well bump into Father Christmas along the way.

In addition there is a programme of Christmas concerts with a broad selection of music, a Christmas Market with fine local food and crafts, and opportunities to get expert help creating decorations, including wreaths and gift wrapping. 

Christmas events and house admission require tickets. 

Booking for events is essential. 

For more details visit the website by clicking HERE or call 0844 249 1895.

Tyntesfield is a fine Victorian country house created by one of England's richest commoners, William Gibbs, who built his fortune on fertiliser.

Spiralling turrets and pinnacles adorn the roof, ornate stone carvings and church-like windows complete the Gothic look, giving the feel of a mysterious, fairytale mansion. Terraced lawns give way to spacious parkland scattered with hundreds of trees collected by the family, and a glorious walled kitchen garden beyond.

The Tyntesfield estate was saved for the nation by the National Trust in 2002 and is open everyday except December 25. 

The National Trust is invited local people to give the gift of gardening knowledge this Christmas.

With Christmas fast approaching and for many present purchasing in full swing, the National Trust has an unusual gift idea for green fingered friends and relatives – New Year Pruning Workshops.

The National Trust looks after a number of different sites in the Bristol area. 

As well as Tyntesfield in North Somerset, and another is the less well known Blaise Hamlet, just four miles north of Bristol city centre near the Blaise Castle Estate. 

Pruning workshops will be held at both of these places in the New Year. 

The expertise of the 'Apple Doctor', also known as Geoff Jones, will be available as he leads attendees through the basics of selecting, planting and nurturing young trees before demonstrating the art of pruning mature trees. 

Geoff said: "Tyntesfield has the perfect combination of young and mature trees on which to demonstrate an array of techniques, and it is just such a pleasure to work on trees in such a stunning location as Blaise Hamlet. 

"I am really looking forward to bringing some of the more neglected trees back to life by making sure they produce easy to pick fruit in the future."

Looking after fruit trees in orchards or gardens is easy once the basics are understood. These courses will not only teach participants what to do in theory but also how to do this in practice, using the correct tools and techniques.  

The two workshops follow a similar format starting at 9.30am and running until 1.30pm with a break for a warm drink and light bite included. 

The first event will be at Tyntesfield on Saturday, January18. January and the second event at Blaise Hamlet will be on Saturday, February 15.

A place on the course costs £20 per person. 

Booking is essential on 0844 249 1895.

These events have been organised by Nicole Armitage, Urban Ranger based at Leigh Woods. 

Nicole said: "My dad is someone I always find difficult to buy for, but he is a really keen gardener and has recently bought some fruit trees for the garden. 

"A workshop like this would be ideal for him so it is a shame he lives too far away to come this time."

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