Raffle ticket sales help save historic Victorian archway at National Trust site

PUBLISHED: 12:00 25 October 2018

Volunteers began work to restore the boundary wall in July. Picture: Tony Laverton

Volunteers began work to restore the boundary wall in July. Picture: Tony Laverton

National Trust

A stone archway at a grade-I listed building has been restored thanks to National Trust funding.

The boundary wall before restoration. Picture: Tony LavertonThe boundary wall before restoration. Picture: Tony Laverton

Tyntesfield house, in Wraxall, has had its Victorian parkland boundary wall upgraded thanks to £2,981 raised from the trust’s annual raffle.

The house was built for the Gibbs family in the 1860s, and has been in the care of the National Trust since 2002.

The restoration of the archway follows on from the successful repair of a 450m stretch of the historic boundary wall in April as part of a conservation project which cost around £250,000.

MORE: Conservation project at Tyntesfield estate set to cost £250k.

The boundary wall after restoration. Picture: Tony LavertonThe boundary wall after restoration. Picture: Tony Laverton

Using the same historic techniques which would have been used to build the mile-and-a-half-long wall in the late 1880s, including an authentic lime mortar mix, the team rebuilt the archway over a custom-built frame.

Once the lime mortar was dry, the frame could be removed and the wall on the other side of the arch rebuilt.

Paula James, visitor experience manager at Tyntesfield, said: “It’s truly wonderful to see the tangible results the raffle can produce and we’d like to thank all of the visitors who took part and supported this work.

“As a conservation charity we rely on fundraising to help us look after the historic sites in our care and stop significant structures like the wall crumbling away.”

Work was completed by a team of National Trust volunteers and qualified waller and instructor Simon Knops, of Bristol-based company Greenspace Walling.

During the repair work, the team also uncovered historic latches and part of a hinge buried in the ground by the archway.

The National Trust hopes to restore this second archway in 2019.

MORE: Dedicated volunteers work to restore Victorian wall at Tyntesfield.

Darren Mait, lead ranger at Tyntesfield, said: “This summer was so hot we had trouble with the lime mortar drying too quickly, we had to cover the wall every night with hessian to keep it cool and plastic sheeting to keep in the moisture so the mortar didn’t dry too quickly.

“We can assume there was once a door in the arch as there’s an archway further down the wall which still has its door.

“We think the doors were added after the wall was built because the arches are higher than the walls on either side.

“It gives us an idea of how the Gibbs family would have used the estate.”

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