So Who is doing the Shaun Trail? Come on ‘fess up. 120 original and imaginative designs. But what inspires the artists. Well one at least was inspired from amongst the collection from Tyntesfield. Meet Willow.

Rhiannon Southwell and Willow 2 (c) National Trust - Barry Batchelor

The rare china and porcelain among an assortment of 50,000 objects at Tyntesfield, has inspired a sculpture on this summer’s Shaun in the City charity sculpture trail. The collection is not only the largest of its kind within the National Trust, but has inspired designer Rhiannon Southwell, for her Aardman famed sculpture.

Now in place outside St Mary Redcliffe the Tyntesfield inspired Shaun, named ‘Willow’, was born out of a Sunday spent on the estate. Having seen a call for artists for the project, Rhiannon developed a design based on the ‘Real old Willow’ pattern of a Victorian tall jug and domed warming plate lid. As an avid collector of blue and white crockery herself, Rhiannon decided to combine her own love for the Tyntesfield collection with some sights of the city, to create her own Bristol Willow pattern.

Rhiannon said, ‘The beautiful china and porcelains were a huge influence on my Shaun the Sheep, which is based loosely on the Willow pattern. I loved seeing how one particular design was reproduced in so many variations through the years. It made me realise I could do my own version using Bristol’s landmarks.’

Tyntesfield tray (c) Rhiannon Southwell Tyntesfield jug (c) Rhiannon Southwell china

Having taken photos and drawn sketches, Rhiannon was helped by the team at the National Trust estate to gain a better understanding of the china’s history, as well as its use within the house. The final part of the process was to practice the design at home before spending two weeks at the Shaun in the City studio with her sculpture.

‘It’s been fascinating to see how Rhiannon has taken classic designs from our collection and transformed them into something modern, yet equally beautiful. Anthony Gibbs, Tyntesfield’s Victorian owner, was a keen farmer, so it’s more than fitting that the designs adorn a sculpture of local sheep,’ said Collections Officer, Ruth Moppett.

The Shaun in the City trail arrived in Bristol on 6 July and features 70 giant sculptures created by artists, celebrities and designers, placed in iconic locations and beautiful green spaces across Bristol until the 31 August. The Bristol trail follows the Shaun in the City trail in London earlier this year, which featured 50 different sculptures. Once the Bristol trail ends, all 120 sculptures will be auctioned for Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal, the Bristol Children’s Hospital charity, and Wallace & Gromit’s Children’s Charity, which support children in hospital all over the UK.  For more information about Shaun in the City, visit

Tyntesfield house, its collection and 540 acres of gardens, woodland and arable land, are now open to visitors 364 days a year. For more information please see:

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