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Wentworth Castle Regeneration

Wentworth Castle in Barnsley is to be regenerated thanks to a grant from The National Lottery

View from Wentworth Castle, 2004

Wentworth Castle and Stainborough Park estate, near Barnsley, has no fewer than 26 listed buildings. Visitors to Stainborough Park today come for one of two reasons, to take a tour of the gardens or to study at Northern College, which now occupies Wentworth Castle.

Wentworth Castle and the central buildings of Wentworth Woodhouse were built by the cousins of the Wentworths at Stainborough Park.Thomas Wentworth built the house due to a family feud! He thought he would inherit nearby Wentworth Woodhouse estate,rather than his cousin. As a result Thomas bought Stainborough Park.

Wentworth Castle is a Grade I listed country house which dates back to 1672. It sits at the heart of a designed landscape created in the Formal and Picturesque styles in the 18th century.

Several of the farm buildings are listed and could be opened to the public if restored.Victorian and Edwardian additions, like the Conservatory, are of comparable quality.

Conservatory,Wentworth Castle

The ownership of the estate became divided in 1948 and since then lack of funding has seen many of the buildings and much of the landscape fall into disrepair.

There are temples, monuments, an obelisk, an orangery, a folly, a Palladian bridge, 300 species of rhodedendron, 100 varieties of camellia, several formal gardens, historical farms, a church.

Gardens,Wentworth Castle

The Great Avenue of oak and lime trees, facing south, which is now overgrown.
Lime Avenue,Wentworth Castle

The Corinthian Temple is one of 26 listed buildings in the park. Stainborough Castle has the appearance of a medieval fairytale fortress.It is a gothic folly built around 1730 by the second Earl of Strafford ,on the site of an Iron Age fort.

Stainborough Castle

It is in fact one of the country's earliest gothic follies.There were originally four towers and each one was named after his four children. Today only two towers remain.

Stainborough Castle

Wentworth Castle conservatory is one of England's finest Victorian plant houses but it has now fallen into such disrepair.The walkway joins the conservatory to the house . Built as an exotic hothouse. It features intricate wrought iron work and an ornate tiled floor.

Landscape park and gardens - the park was created in the mid-late 18th century and included work by Humphry Repton in 1790. Alterations were carried out during the later 19th and early 20th century when the Japanese Gardens were set out.

Much of the park has been destroyed by open cast mining, but traces of avenues and lakes survive. A deer park was situated to the north of the house.

Conservatory,Wentworth Castle

Extract from The National Lottery website.
Wentworth Castle in Barnsley, one of the UK's most important historical buildings, is to be regenerated thanks to a 10.3m grant from The National Lottery. The building's trust has been campaigning for renovation funds for several years, and the popularity of the cause was proved when it won third place in the 2003 BBC Two series Restoration.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has stepped in to grant the castle and Stainborough Estate the money required to start a massive improvement project, due for completion in December 2007.

The castle is a grade I listed building, and home to the Northern College for Residential Adult Education. Its landscape houses 26 listed structures - including temples, obelisks, statues and an orangery.

The money will be spent on renovating the buildings and gardens to reflect 300 years of landscape design,says Richard Evans, director of the trust. We're predicting 40,000 visitors in the first year but these are modest figures as we're expecting to build upon that. This would never have been possible without the Lottery's funding.

Wentworth Castle has the finest garden in South Yorkshire and one of the finest in the country, adds trustee Robbie Hunter. The money will help to secure the future of the estate and allow more people to visit and enjoy the building and garden. Hopefully the 10.3m will be the catalyst and the first piece in the jigsaw for the restoration of the whole estate.


Keep up to date with all the latest news and photographs of the ambitious restoration of Wentworth Castle Gardens & Stainborough Park. Visit the new website.

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See also Henry Skrine's visit to Wentworth