Tyntesfield Manor is a house that was bought by the National Trust in August of 2002. The National Trust was able to buy not only the grand estate, but also all of the belongings. It was an 11th hour save, everything had already been tagged for a Christie’s auction, but a huge grant from the National Heritage Lottery made the purchase possible.
A documentary about the purchase and conservation of Tyntesfield is being run on the BBC and there was an interview this morning on BBC4 radio. In the grant, the National Trust had to agree to make Tyntesfield an open educational process. So on top of an amazing conservation effort, the team has to juggle visitors in and out of the property. My favorite person in the documentary is the handyman who stayed on from the previous family to the National Trust. He talks about the red tape and how it can take 6 months to get permission to fix something. He wears an old straw hat and a tank top and lots of tatoos. Yep, he’s my favorite.
If there is someway to catch the documentary, maybe on BBC America, it is a must watch. If not, just take a tour of the National Trust webpage.