Aviary restoration begins

THE rare Victorian aviary at Wraxall’s Tyntesfield estate will be restored to its original ornamental splendour.

One of the smallest buildings at the National Trust estate, it stands in Tyntesfield’s formal gardens and would have been used to keep exotic birds before later being adapted into a children’s play house.

On Monday, work began to repair and restore the aviary, which was built between 1867-1883 but has recently been neglected.

The work is being carried out thanks to funds raised by visitors in the annual property raffle, it is scheduled to last 10 weeks and will be carried out by Ellis and Co, along with an 18-year-old apprentice carpenter.

Tyntesfield building surveyor Kate Gunthorpe said: “One of Tyntesfield’s criteria when tendering for contracts is that contractors provide demonstrations and take on apprentices, giving visitors and apprentices the opportunity to learn about restoration and conservation of historic buildings.

“Throughout the process of repairing and restoring the aviary we will encourage visitors to watch the historic work taking place.”

As part of the project, the glazing and timber will be repaired, the wire mesh replaced and the slate floor reinstated.

Most Read

Later this month, visitors will be asked to help make 1,000 origami birds, which will be used to make an art installation inside the aviary. In the long term, it is hoped the aviary will become an exhibition space for local artists.