February 2019 Picture of the Month

Tyntesfield in Somerset is in the guardianship of the National Trust and, with its extensive collection of priceless fabrics and carpets, that guardianship poses particular challenges – especially when considering the Trust's decision to open the house all year rather than the seaonal openings elsewhere. Exposing the fabrics and pigments to daylight all year round would inevitably cause fading, as the house reaches its 'safe limit' in terms of total lumens received by about half way through each year. The answer is a delightful one – present the house for six months of the year as if it was night-time with the blinds drawn and typically much lower levels of Victorian illumination. Over Christmas, that becomes quite magical.

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All images and text © John Hannavy