Grade I listed stately home located in Rotherham, that is England's largest private owned house.
ABOUT WENTWORTH WOODHOUSE
Wentworth Woodhouse is a stately home (country house) in the village of Wentworth, in the borough of Rotherham, roughly 10 miles (16km) from Sheffield city centre. It is England’s largest privately-owned house, comprising 300 rooms. It is surrounded by a park of 180 acres, and an estate of 15,000 acres. It is a Grade I listed building.
The house is known for its unusual construction, in that it is an amalgamation of two houses in two different architectural styles – it consists of an English Baroque-style brick-built western range, dating back to 1725; and a Palladian-style sandstone-built eastern range, constructed in 1734. It is the Palladian east front that is considered more picturesque, with its grand pillars, and has been frequently been illustrated by many artists. The gardens are filled with scenic follies, including a 35-metre Tuscan column, a pyramid-shaped watchtower known as the Hoober Stand, and a mausoleum.
Originally built for Thomas Watson-Wentworth, 1st Marquess of Rockingham, the house was greatly expanded by his son, Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham – famous for twice being the Prime Minister of Great Britain, from 1765-1766 and again briefly in 1782. The Wentworth Dynasty was a political family associated with the historical Whig Party, and Wentworth Woodhouse was established as a centre of influence for the Whigs. Many of the garden’s follies have associations with 18th-century Whig politics.
The house was home to a royal visit in 1912, when King George V and Queen Mary stayed for several days and hosted a party of many royals. During this visit, 25,000 people gathered on the lawn as the King gave a speech from the balcony of the portico. During the Second World War, the house was used as Headquarters and the Training Depot of the Intelligence Corps, where they used the grounds as training areas for motorcycle dispatch riders. After the war, the estate was found to be rich with coal, and mining operations took place in the grounds to help with the post-war recovery. In the 1980s, the house was used by Sheffield City Polytechnic (now known as Sheffield Hallam University) as a base for the Geography and Physical Education departments.
Through the years, the house has passed through many private owners, until 2016, when it was purchased by the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust for a sum of £7 million. Shortly after, the Trust received a grant of £7.6 million for restoration work to the house.
The house has been used as a filming location for many popular films and television series, including Downton Abbey (2019), Darkest Hour (2018), and Pride and Prejudice (2005).
Today, both the house and its gardens are open for visitors to explore, with guided tours and private events also available.