Victoriana

culture

Mr. Butshesagirl and I watched an excellent program yesterday about Tyntesfield, the Victorian house near Bristol. As those of you who read this weblog regularly will know, I'm not one for adulating the past. I'm a big fan of technology, and get separation anxiety if I'm away from my computer for too long. But I do admire craftsmanship, and find the Victorian period interesting for all sorts of reasons.

The house is a fantastic gothic confection (the architects seemed to have been guided by the principle, 'If in doubt, add more turrets and gargoyles'), and still contains much of the detritus of family life. At one point, we spotted a crate which once contained Marmite, so the inhabitants were obviously people of taste and discernment. In the hall there is a wonderful carved wooden stand for hanging coats and hats on. Each panel is beautifully carved with incredibly detailed studies of vines, hops and roses, and each is different. It really is a stunning piece of work.

Unfortunately, the later family members decided to do a bit of a 'Changing Rooms', and replaced many of the wonderful original pieces of furniture with cheap reproduction Georgian tat. Thank god they didn't have MDF at their disposal.

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