Fertile Fortune: The Story of Tyntesfield

Front Cover
Pavilion Books, May 25, 2006 - Architecture - 192 pages

Situated on a ridge overlooking the beautiful Land Yeo Valley, Tyntesfield is one the last remaining examples of a great country house built in the Victorian High Gothic style. It survives intact with visitors able to view an unrivalled collection of Victorian decorative arts, experience an insight into life below stairs and see a sumptuously decorated private chapel. Each year thousands of visitors come through its doors and since its acquisition by the National Trust in 2002 it has become one of the jewels in the Trust's crown.

But behind the house there exists the fascinating story of the Gibbs family. 'Fertile Fortune' reveals their history and how each generation stamped its own identity on the house and estate. William Gibbs came from an Exeter merchant family. His company began to export guano from the offshore Pacific islands. These bird droppings, rich in nitrate, proved a godsend as fertiliser for British farmers. A fortune was made, and Tyntesfield built in 1864. Filled with stunning images of Tyntesfield and descriptions of some of the arts held within its walls, 'Fertile Fortune' is both a fascinating read and a pictorial tour of the house.

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