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The original house was built on the site around 1820 by the Seymour family. It was purchased by William Gibbs in 1844, who began a programme of extensive alterations to the house and grounds, mainly between 1862 and 1864. William Gibbs died in 1875, by which time the house was twice its previous size.

The following is from the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. For the most up-to-date Register entry, please visit the The National Heritage List for England (NHLE):

www.historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list

HISTORIC DEVELOPMENT

In the early 15th century an estate in the parish of Wraxall belonged to the Tynte family. By 1643, when Sir Robert Tynte MP died, his home was described as 'the ancient house of his ancestors' (Country Life 2002). In the 18th century the property, known as Tyntes Place, was let as a farmhouse while the family resided at Chelvey Court.

In 1813 the estate was sold to John Penrose Seymour, owner of the neighbouring Belmont Estate. Seymour's son, the Reverend George Turner Seymour, built a gothic villa to the design of Robert Newton of Nailsea in 1836-40. This house, which stood on the site of the present mansion, is shown in mid-19th century watercolours by Blanche Gibbs (private collection; reproduced by Christies 2002; Country Life 2002).

The Belmont Estate was let in 1828 to George Gibbs, a Bristol banker, and cousin of William Gibbs (1790-1875), whose father had founded the firm of Anthony Gibbs and Sons in 1809. Anthony Gibbs originally traded as a wool merchant in Exeter, but after the failure of his first enterprise, went on in 1789 to sell English cloth in Spain while at the same time importing Spanish fruit and wine to England. Following the disruption of Spanish trade during the Napoleonic Wars, Gibbs began to develop a highly lucrative business in South America trading in guano (dried sea-bird droppings) and later nitrates, both of which were widely used as fertilisers by British farmers in the 19th century (Girouard 1979).

Following the death of the Rev George Seymour in 1843, William Gibbs purchased the Tyntes Place Estate from his widow. Matilda Gibbs' mid-19th century watercolour views of the early 19th century house show terraced gardens to the west and south, and parkland to the south and east. This is supported by the Tithe map (1837), which shows a principal approach crossing the park to the house from a lodge situated west of the kitchen garden. At the same time, Gibbs considerably expanded his property, acquiring the neighbouring estates of Belmont to the east, and Charlton to the north-west. Estate accounts and diary entries indicate that Gibbs was also concerned to develop the pleasure grounds, seeking out rare trees and conifers with which to enhance them, some specimens being supplied by the Veitch nursery at Exeter. (SAVE 2002).

In 1863 William Gibbs decided on a radical rebuilding of his house, which was now known as Tyntesfield, and commissioned plans from the London and Bristol architect, John Norton. The existing early 19th century terraces appear to have been remodelled, with steps and gothic seats attributed to Norton, while a large conservatory was constructed at the north-west corner of the new house.William Gibbs and his wife were strong supporters of the Church of England, and in 1875 Gibbs commissioned designs for a substantial private chapel from Sir Arthur Blomfield (1829-99). This was completed by his widow following Gibbs' death later the same year. Tyntesfield was left to Mrs Gibbs for her life, and the estate at this period was described by the novelist Charlotte M Yonge (1823-1901), who was a frequent visitor (letter, September 1887, quoted in Christies Catalogue 2002). In 1889 the estate passed to William and Matilda Gibbs' son, Anthony (1841-1907), who commissioned Henry Woodyer to make improvements to the house in 1889-90, and several buildings on the estate including the stables. In 1896 the walled garden was remodelled and extended; this work has beeb attributed on stylistic grounds to Sir Reginald Blomfield (1856-1942) (T Knox pers comm, 2002).

Anthony Gibbs was succeeded in 1907 by his son, Colonel George Abraham Gibbs, who the following year was elected MP for Bristol West. In 1921 Colonel Gibbs was appointed Treasurer to the Royal Household, and on his retirement from office in 1928 was created Baron Wraxall. Lord Wraxall died in 1931, leaving his widow to bring up two young sons; management of the estate passed to the second Lord Wraxall in 1949. Few significant changes were made to Tyntesfield between 1931 and Lord Wraxall's death in 2001. In May 2002 the estate was placed on the market by the late Lord Wraxall's trustees; the house and part of the estate was purchased by the National Trust, who have begun a major restoration programme.

Site timeline

1828: The Belmont Estate was let to George Gibbs.

08/10/1842 to 21/06/1843: During the period William Gibbs was 'considering' the offer it seems he had Fosters (architects) to redesign the house, and work started within days of the payment being made. Work was completed in 1864. He doubled the size, as shown in Matilda Blache's pictures.

08/10/1842: The Reverend George Turner Seymour offered Tyntesfield to William Gibbs.

21/06/1843: William Gibbs agreed to purchase the estate.

19/04/1844: William Gibbs paid £21,295 3s to the Reverend George Turner Seymour.

1931 to 2001: Few significant changes were made to Tyntesfield between 1931 and Lord Wraxall's death in 2001.

2002: The estate was placed on the market by the late Lord Wraxall's trustees.

After 2002: The house and part of the estate was purchased by the National Trust, who have begun a major restoration programme.

People associated with this site

Architect: Sir Arthur William Blomfield (born 06/03/1829 died 30/10/1899)

Designer: Walter Frederick Cave (born 17/09/1863 died 07/01/1939)

Architect: John Norton (born 28/09/1823 died 10/11/1904)

Architect: Henry Woodyer (born 1816 died 1896)

Features

lake

tree clump

summerhouse

There are two summerhouses.

rose garden

garden seat

Feature created: 1865

Creator: John Norton (born 28/09/1823 died 10/11/1904)

There is a Gothic seat, probably designed by John Norton around 1865.

chapel

Feature created: 1873 to 1876

The Gibbs family were supporters of the Oxford movement or Tractarians. The chapel was built between 1873 and 1875, although finally finished in 1876.

boundary wall

Feature created: 1800 to 1899

The site is partly bounded by 19th-century stone walls.

building

Feature created: 1834 to 1867

A group of mid-19th-century estate cottages and almshouses, perhaps designed by Norton, adjoin the park to the south-west.