On New Year’s Day I’m sure many of you tuned in to catch the Sherlock Special on BBC One, I certainly did and I was completely smitten with gorgeous house used in many of the scenes and just had to find out more about the property.
After a little research I found the house in question, Tyntesfield House, a Victorian Gothic Revival property located near Wraxall, North Somerset. The entire place is absolutely stunning inside and out and looks completely breath-taking on screen, so much so I was paying less attention the plot line and more to the spectacular interiors!
I rarely find a Gothic Revival building that I don’t like, in fact it’s an architectural soft spot for me. It’s the striking yet sinister appearance of the Tyntesfield House that makes it just on the right side spooky and therefore the ideal location for a story from Sherlock.
The land was originally home to a 16th Century hunting lodge until the 1830s when a Georgian mansion was erected in its place. In the 1860s the property was bought by businessman William Gibbs, who expanded and remodelled the entire house, turning it in the work of art it is today. The Tyntesfield House stayed in the Gibbs family up until 2002 when it was acquired by the ever reliable National Trust.
The house’s interiors are a design marvel, they manage to maintain the historic ambiance whilst still not looking out of place in the 21st Century. Despite Gothic Revival architecture being infamous for over-embellishment and excessive decoration the house still maintains clean and elegant lines. I love the beautiful stone carved window in the background of this scene, and though a little fuzzy and out of focus in this still it makes quite an exquisite impact.
All credit to the director of the Sherlock special, Douglas Mackinnon, for the wonderful camerawork throughout the episode, the sneak peek through the archway into the grand hallway makes a lovely viewpoint, especially with the statue hidden away in the shadows and the different levels of the staircase and continuing gallery.
In fact I was particularly taken with the staircase feature, for something that is made out of solid stone it seems to glide around the room with effortlessness and ease. I love the iron work and the beautiful red runner carpet that was a replica of the original carpet fitted in the 1860s, particularly when it’s contrasted with the adjacent leafy palm tree.
Another exquisite feature of the hallway is the fireplace and all its ornate Gothic carvings, demonstrating what Gothic Revival did best, making once just functional features of a home into show-stopping interior ornamentation.
The show also gives you a quick look into a few other rooms including the lounge and dining room. Here you can see the wonderful red hues of the lounge, accompanied by no less than three chandeliers. The high ceilings, large windows and great archways create the perfect balance of light and shadows to keep up the eerie appearance of the house. The furniture is perfectly scattered throughout the room as if it had never been touched, even though for the filming of Sherlock the production team removed over a 1000 pieces of original furniture and replaced it with replicas.
As the characters pace through this walk way we can catch a glimpse of the original tiling and wood carvings the interiors feature. The rich colour of the wood and the snappy green tiles are symbiotic and create peaceful and mellow surroundings.
If you haven’t seen the Sherlock Special yet check it out, if not for the plotline but for the wonderful scenery!
For more information on the Tyntesfield House visit, http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/tyntesfield
Watch Sherlock: The Abominable Bride via BBC iPlayer