Dedicated volunteers work to restore Victorian wall at Tyntesfield

PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 April 2018

Volunteers have been working on restoring the Tyntesfield wall for more than nine months. Picture: Alana Wright

Volunteers have been working on restoring the Tyntesfield wall for more than nine months. Picture: Alana Wright

Archant

A dedicated team of volunteers has helped save the historic parkland boundary wall at Tyntesfield, cared for by the National Trust.

Volunteer working on the historic boundary wall at Tyntesfield. Picture: Tony LavertonVolunteer working on the historic boundary wall at Tyntesfield. Picture: Tony Laverton

The Victorian house, in Wraxall, is a grade-I listed building and its boundary wall is thought to date back to the 1880s.

It was built using stone and lime mortar, but had fallen into disrepair after tough weather conditions battered the wall during 2017.

A team of volunteers were trained and led by qualified waller and instructor, Simon Knops, of Bristol-based company Greenspace Walling, and began restoration work last summer.

Volunteer working on the historic boundary wall at Tyntesfield. Picture: Tony LavertonVolunteer working on the historic boundary wall at Tyntesfield. Picture: Tony Laverton

Repairs have been completed along a 450-metre stretch of the historic wall, which has now weathered the winter and is standing proud in the Tyntesfield woodland.

Simon said: “I love to see these old walls come back to life.

“Not only are they part of the original structure, they have developed a habitat of their own, hosting mosses, lichens and even small birds which nest in the crevices.”

The team adopted the same historic techniques which would have been used to first build the wall in the late 19th century, making sure to check with a National Trust curator to source the correct lime mortar mix.

The 20-strong group began by clearing any adjacent trees which caused damage to the wall before carefully removing the ivy growing along the surface and pushing the stones apart.

They salvaged as much stone as they could from the collapsed sections.

Volunteer Mel King said: “I’ve loved being part of the team.

“I have made new friends and learnt new skills, this is teamwork at its best.

“It has been fascinating learning how to take a pile of stones, some of them needing to be recovered from the field, and a lot of holes, through the art of finding the right stone for the right place, to working out how to get it to stay there for a long time.

“We also learned lots about the wildlife and their habitats, as well as about walling.”

Thanks to the success of this project, the National Trust team will be continuing its work this year, focusing on historic walls across the North Somerset countryside in need of repair.

For more information, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/tyntesfield

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