A strange affair: Hannah More's poetic landscape and the Gibbs

Visitors reading one of the poetry boards in the woodland at Tyntesfield

A new self-led poetry walk around the Tyntesfield woodland rediscovering the romantic landscape of Bristol poet and bluestocking writer, Hannah More.

A brand new poetry walk

Lace up your walking boots and follow in the footsteps of the Gibbs family, Tyntesfield's Victorian residents, to rediscover the romantic landscape of Bristol poet and bluestocking writer, Hannah More.

This brand new woodland poetry walk will guide you through Tyntesfield's plantation where you'll encounter rustic summerhouses, glorious views and tales of romance, heartbreak, and despair.

From 12 May, you can pick up a walking map from the Ticket Office and follow in the Gibbs' footsteps to rediscover Hannah More's lasting legacy at Tyntesfield.

Exploring the woodland at Tyntesfield
Visitors walking in the woodland at Tyntesfield
Exploring the woodland at Tyntesfield

Who was Hannah More?

Bristol-born Hannah More (1745-1833) was one of the most influential women of her day. A successful poet, playwright and campaigner, she was a champion of social reform, female education and the abolition of slavery.

You can find more information on Hannah More's history here:

 

Where did the walk come from?

During her engagement with William Turner, the owner of Tyntesfield's neighbouring estate of Belmont, Hannah spent a lot of time there and was she was inspired to write poetry. Together, the couple laid out planting and paths in the woodland and William arranged for Hannah's poems to be printed onto wooden boards and attached to trees along the paths.

When the Gibbs family bought Tyntesfield in the 1840s, nearly seventy years later, they found remnants of these poetry boards still attached to trees in the woodland. In around 1900, the family restored Hannah's poetry boards and reinstated them.

Now, in 2018, we've recreated and reinstated Hannah's poetry boards, just as the Gibbs did over a hundred years ago, to create a brand new walk through the woodland.

" Hannah More’s poems provide a fascinating glimpse into the early career of this fiercely intelligent and passionate poet, it’s wonderful to think that the natural beauty of the woodland was a crucial source of inspiration for one of Bristol’s greatest writers. "
- Sue Hayward, Tyntesfield curator

Hannah More at Tyntesfield