To say Tyntesfield is Gothic is an understatement. This place is Goth-ick. It’s so Gothic it’d make Goths go green with envy – under their pale makeup obviously.
Fans of the BBCs’ “Sherlock” should recognise Tyntesfield from the episode “The Abominable Bride” a (sort of) homage to the original Victorian setting of Arthur Conan-Doyles’ detective books. The house has also popped up in the 2017 adaptation of Agatha Cristie’s novel “Crooked House”, and Dr Who episode “Hide”.
The library is the first room you enter and boy does it set the tone. It oozes dark drama in its dimly lit shelves, carved fireplace, and obligatory, kind-of-creepy rocking horse.
The grand central hallway then leads to a variety of rooms, which are all perfect for an over-wrought murder mystery.
The dining room is prepared for a tense dinner party, clad in dark wood paneling, swirling wallpaper and grand marble columns.
The Billiard room meanwhile, is waiting to be filled with smoke and mustache-wearing gentlemen quaffing brandy and keeping secrets. It’s covered with so many stag heads, that even your average Skyrim adventurer would say “Woah, steady on!”
The maze of downstairs rooms are all lit in a dramatic fashion. Even the furniture and decorative items support the Gothic aesthetic. Fancy an ornate writing desk? How about a creepy bath chair, ready for a ghostly new owner?
The servant’s quarters and upstairs rooms are far more restrained than the downstairs rooms. But even these areas have enough doors, archways and mysterious passageways to make you worry that “The Woman in Black” is lurking around the corner.
The grounds include formal gardens, a rose garden and large kitchen garden and orangery so there’s plenty to explore. Tyntesfield is the perfect setting for so many stories. Ghost stories obviously, but also illicit historical romances, gas-lighting thrillers, and decade-spanning family sagas.
Fans of “Sherlock” should enjoy it. Although with adult tickets around £20, it’s not cheap for the casual visitor. That said, it was one of the best National Trust houses I’ve been to, so if you’re a member it’s easily worth a visit.
Have you visited Tyntesfield? What kind of story could you set here? Let me know in the comments.