When the National Trust took on Tyntesfield, the high-Victorian country house near Bristol, in 2002, the orangery there was in very poor condition due to long-term lack of maintenance, with shrubs growing through the roof and rain pouring in.
Last year saw the start of a three-year project to restore this listed building to its full late-Victorian glory. The aim of the project is not just to restore the orangery, but also to provide training oportunities in buildings conservation and stone masonry.
Extra funding was obtained from the Commercial Education Trust and the Heritage Lottery Fund to allow students from City of Bath College and other groups to work on the orangery together with the expert stone masons of Nimbus Conservation.
Over 6,000 visitors have also been able to see the ongoing work from a specially constructed viewing platform. In October 2011 the project was awarded an English Heritage Angels Award, a scheme founded by Andrew Lloyd Webber to celebrate the efforts of local people in rescuing their heritage.
Bookings are now being taken for workshops and tours in spring/summer 2012: contact Katie Laidlaw at firstname.lastname@example.org.