One of the Great Georgian Houses of England
Wentworth Woodhouse sits in 82 acres of gardens, parkland and woodland surrounded by the greater park and farmland of the Fitzwilliam Estate in what was once one of the finest parklands of its age.
The attractive former estate village of Wentworth lies immediately to the north west and offers a number of amenities including public houses, a restaurant, two churches and a general store.
Wentworth Woodhouse is situated 10 miles to the North East of Sheffield in an extremely well connected location with good access to the M1, A1(M) and M18 motorways. There are mainline railway stations at both Sheffield and Doncaster, both with direct trains to London. There are International airports at Doncaster-Sheffield, Leeds-Bradford, East Midlands and Manchester.
Described as a marvel of English Architecture' Wentworth Woodhouse is without doubt one of the finest and grandest Georgian houses in England and at 606 ft is famously considered to have the longest facade.
THE MANSION HOUSE
The magnificent interiors at Wentworth are acknowledged to be some of the finest of the Georgian era and span the whole of the 18th Century. They are the work of three patrons the First and Second Marquess of Rockingham and the Fourth Earl Fitzwilliam. They have been described by Sir Nikolaus Pevsner as being ...of exceptional value. A suite like that along the East Front from the Whistlejacket Room to the library is not easily matched anywhere in England.'
The majority of the state rooms are laid out across the ground and first floors of the Palladian east wing and retain much of their fine architectural fittings, inset paintings and chimneypieces. Rooms of particular note include the magnificent pillared hall which gives access to the domestic spaces of the ship room, low dining room, and painted drawing room. The chapel was completed in 1734 and designed by Henry Flitcroft but includes some earlier woodwork.
The principal floor is reached via Carr's cantilevered staircase which opens into the Marble Saloon, once dubbed the finest Georgian room in England. It is a 60 ft square hall, 40ft high with an unbroken pillared gallery surround and ceiling plasterwork by Jonathan and Joseph Rose which is further reflected in the design of the marble floor.
There are suites of state rooms to the north and south of the marble saloon. To the south these include the Ante drawing room, Van Dyck room and The Whistlejacket room; formally containing Stubbs' equestrian masterpiece and with ceiling and walls of heavily gilded stucco work. To the north are the libraries, state dining room and statuary room- which has a particularly fine Neoclassical chimneypiece.
The West Front contains the oldest elements of the house and the ground floor contains a suite of rooms which were formally part of the services area. On the first floor were the principal family apartments which include some very fine interiors from various periods and further state rooms in the southern (George IV) wing. Of particular note is the Long Gallery which has been beautifully restored by the present owners.
The south (Bedlam) wing contains various rooms in plainer character to the majority of the house, many of which have lost their original character having been significantly adapted for institutional use. The north wing would once have contained much of the service wings, in a quadrangle around the Piazza courtyard. It was however heavily altered in order to provide a refectory for the teacher training college.
The Second Marquess of Rockingham commissioned John Carr to build the Palladian Stables and Riding School, with work beginning in 1766. Built on an extremely grand scale the stables are fashioned in Ashlar and dressed golden sandstone.
He had a clear passion for horses and racing and at one time kept 84 racehorses at Wentworth. The stables remained relatively unaltered until the early 20th Century when they were taken over by the army during WWII and later greatly altered with the arrival of the training college. In the late 1940s they were converted to form various classrooms, the riding school became a gymnasium and various single storey infill extensions were added.
The entrance to the stables is marked by a round arched carriage drive flanked by Tuscan columns with the yard clock atop a pediment with colonnaded cupola.
From the courtyard the coach house dominates the south range and to the east and west are two single storey ranges, each comprising 15 bays. Much of the interior of the stables and coach house have been greatly altered to suit the requirements of the former college.
To the south of the stables is the late 18th Century Riding School, the north elevation of which is obscured by modern extensions. The interior however, is well preserved with the exceptions of the 20th Century ceiling and floor.
The Mews Court is accessed through the West Range of Stables and comprises two courtyards of Grade II listed 18th and early 19th century ancillary buildings including the Mews Cottage, Gardener's House and Ostler's House.
LADY MABEL COLLEGE BUILDINGS
To the west of the stables a substantial footprint of buildings were added in the 1970s. These include various redundant teaching rooms and a swimming pool.
In the 1970s a Halls of Residence complex was built in the North-West of the parkland. Built of hollow breeze block with flat, felted roofs the buildings are now redundant.
The parks at Wentworth Woodhouse were originally laid out by Humphrey Repton and he described them as one of his most ambitious projects. The house would once have sat within vast pleasure gardens, much of which have unfortunately long disappeared although a programme of restoration has begun. Areas which were previously destroyed by mining are in the process of being redefined and planted by the current owners.
Monuments remaining within the grounds include The Punch Bowl- a 15 ft high decorative urn dating from 1837, an 18th Century Ionic temple and the magnificent Camellia house. Also of particular note is the massive South Terrace, a 1500 ft long retaining wall built for the 1st Marquess of Rockingham.
In the wider parkland and visible from the house are further important 18th and 19th century monuments including the Rockingham Monument, Hoober Stand, Keppel's Column and Needle's Eye. These monuments are not in ownership but form part of the historic landscape of Wentworth Woodhouse.
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33 Margaret Street
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