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National Trust's total cost of saving Tyntesfield may be £50 million

The Trust is applying for a further £20 million grant to set up an endowment

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The National Trust is applying this month to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for £20 million for Tyntesfield, the country house near Bristol. Figures now available suggest that the total cost of saving the property will exceed £50 million. When Tyntesfield was bought in June 2002, the buildings and land cost £9 million and the contents a further £9.5 million. This initial total of £18.5 million was mainly met from the £17.4 million granted by the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF).

What has not been widely appreciated is that the National Trust decided to break its long-standing policy of not taking on a country house without an endowment, which will require £18 million. This is an indication of the importance attached to Tyntesfield, a Gothic Revival extravaganza which still holds most of its original furnishings. It was commissioned by trade tycoon William Gibbs in 1862 and designed by John Norton, a pupil of Pugin.

A further £14 million is also required for immediate repairs and education, training and access. Early this month, the National Trust is submitting an application for £20 million to HLF, which is part of the same organisation of NHMF. Although the grant has been agreed in principle, and money set aside, the application must be approved. HLF’s decision is expected in July.

o Tyntesfield is only open for guided tours. % 44 (0)870 241 4500. remarkable year in its 50-year history”. Its latest annual report reveals that the total value of the 23 works of art for which export licences were deferred was £75 million ($131 million), well over twice the previous record.

Four objects were “starred” as of outstanding importance—a Michelangelo drawing, the Jenkins Venus, Reynolds’s portrait of Omai and Raphael’s “Madonna of the pinks”. The Michelangelo and the Venus both went abroad, while the fate of the two paintings is still uncertain. Of the 23 works of art deferred, 11 were successfully acquired by UK institutions, valued at £4.2 million.