From Madrid to Tyntesfield: A story of love, loss, and legacy

William Gibbs stood in an Alhambra

This year, we're exploring Tyntesfield's Hispanic influences, brought here by its founder, William Gibbs.

Born in Madrid, the son of a Spanish cloth merchant, William's story is one of long struggles with sacred debts and a deep anxiety about money. It's a story of young love, loss, a close-knit family and the making of a vast fortune. From business deals across the Hispanic world to a wooded corner of the Somerset countryside where his family settled. 

Things to see

Many items which have never been displayed to the public before will be on show in the house. These include ornate alhambras, golden peacock incense burners, and miniatures of the families produced by Queen Victoria's miniaturist. 

Moving furniture around has revealed this wooden pineapple
Conserving a wooden pineapple
Moving furniture around has revealed this wooden pineapple

For all the senses

Hear traditional Spanish piano music as you walk through the rooms, played by one of our volunteers on the grand piano that sits in the hall. If you know any Spanish piano classics, we'd love to invite you to play, just ask a volunteer. 

There'll be tasty food on offer in the Cow Barn Restaurant and Pavilion Cafe inspired by Hispanic delicacies. Where possible, we source as many ingredients as possible from the estate, including burgers from our tenant farmer's beef. 

More to come

There'll be plenty more to see as the year progresses. The Hispanic theme will grow into the garden, where you can already see exotic plants growing. There's already pineapples to spot, and there'll be dahlias and chillis growing further into the year. 

A pineapple growing in the glasshouses
A pineapple growing at Tyntesfield
A pineapple growing in the glasshouses

$tow High in Transit 

From September to November, we'll be hosting a photography exhibition by Olli Hellman in the house, which will look at the impact of the guano trade and globalisation, and how it relates to Tyntesfield today.