Bath students set it in stone

Talented stone conservation students from City of Bath College have helped to save a Grade II* listed building that was at risk of being lost forever.

The talented team have completed their three-year project to restore and conserve the Tyntesfield Estate’s Orangery in North Somerset.Orangery

Students came to the rescue as the Orangery had deteriorated so badly over the years that it was in the highest priority category on English Heritage’s Buildings at Risk Register.

The building, which was built in 1897 in the classical style, has now been re-opened to the public and the amazing transformation is now the focal point of the Estate’s kitchen garden.

The pioneering project saw the College working closely with the National Trust and specialist stone conservators Nimbus Conservation. Their work won a prestigious national English Heritage Angel Award in 2011 with students praised for “bringing the Orangery back to life.”

Nigel Bryant, who runs the College’s nationally recognised Architectural Stone Conservation course, said the Orangery had been saved for future generations to enjoy.

Tyntesfield studentsHe said: “After years of neglect, the building was in the worst state imaginable as it had been abandoned for so long.

“Three years later, the finished project looks amazing; it’s a complete transformation which is a real credit to the hard work and dedication to all involved.

“I’m very proud of the hard work, dedication and skills shown by our students, who have played a key role in this conservation project.

“It’s a fantastic building and we have received so much positive feedback.”

Nigel said the project was invaluable on-the-job experience for the students who are interested in working within stone conservation.

He said: “The stTyntesfield student 2udents have put all their theory into practice and honed their skills.

“It’s been extremely hard work and very challenging at times, but it’s been the ideal unique training opportunity for students.

“It not only gives them great work experience, but it also involves them in projects which prepare them for industry and benefit the local community.”

The team have spent a couple of days a week at Tyntesfield with the project being supported by a new intake of students each year.

Scaffolding was put up around the Orangery so that students could tackle the stone decay, and clean and repair the crumbling stone work.

The Level 3 NVQ Architectural Stone Conservation students have also been able to pass on their heritage skills to members of the public through hands-on workshops.

The project will now be used as a model for future partnerships across the National Trust.

For more information on the Architectural Stone Conservation course contact Nigel Bryant on 01225 328840 or email

There are also stonemasonry apprenticeships available through City of Bath College. For more information contact Stacey Harper on 01225 328729 or