Wentworth Woodhouse

Wentworth Woodhouse is a Grade I listed country house in the village of Wentworth, in the Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham in South Yorkshire, England. It is currently owned by the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust.[3] Considered to be the largest private residence in the United Kingdom (larger royal residences such as Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle are not privately owned), it has an east front of 606 feet (185 m); the longest country house façade in Europe.[4][5][6] The house has more than 300 rooms, although the precise number is unclear, with 250,000 square feet (23,000 m2) of floorspace[7] (124,600 square feet (11,580 m2) of living area). It covers an area of more than 2.5 acres (1.0 ha), and is surrounded by a 180-acre (73 ha) park, and an estate of 15,000 acres (6,100 ha).

The original Jacobean house was rebuilt by Thomas Watson-Wentworth, 1st Marquess of Rockingham (1693–1750), and vastly expanded by his son, the 2nd Marquess, who was twice Prime Minister, and who established Wentworth Woodhouse as a Whig centre of influence.[8] In the 18th century, the house was inherited by the Earls Fitzwilliam who owned it until 1979, when it passed to the heirs of the 8th and 10th Earls, its value having appreciated from the large quantities of coal discovered on the estate. [9]

Wentworth Woodhouse
Wentworth Woodhouse East Front
East front of Wentworth Woodhouse
Wentworth Woodhouse is located in South Yorkshire
Wentworth Woodhouse
Location within South Yorkshire
General information
StatusUnder restoration
TypeStately home
Architectural style
LocationWentworth, South Yorkshire
Coordinates53°28′27″N 1°24′17″W / 53.47417°N 1.40472°WCoordinates: 53°28′27″N 1°24′17″W / 53.47417°N 1.40472°W
OwnerWentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust
Design and construction
  • William Etty
  • Ralph Tunnicliffe
  • Henry Flitcroft
  • John Carr
Other information
Listed Building – Grade I
Designated29 April 1952
Reference no.1132769[1]
Designated1 June 1984
Reference no.1001163[2]
Wentworth Woodhouse - geograph.org.uk - 1039905
The East Front in 2008


Wentworth Woodhouse from A Complete History of the County of York by Thomas Allen (1828-30)
Wentworth Woodhouse (east front) from A Complete History of the County of York by Thomas Allen (1828–30).
Wentworth Woodhouse west front
The west front

Wentworth Woodhouse comprises two joined houses, forming west and east fronts. The original house, now the west front, with the garden range facing northwest towards the village, was built of brick with stone details. The east front of unsurpassed length is credibly said to have been built[10] as the result of a rivalry with the Stainborough branch of the Wentworth family, which inherited Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford's minor title of Baron Raby, but not his estates (including the notable series of Strafford portraits by Anthony van Dyck and Daniel Mytens), which went to Watson who added Wentworth to his surname. The Stainborough Wentworths, for whom the Strafford earldom was revived, lived at nearby Wentworth Castle, which was purchased in 1708 in a competitive spirit and strenuously rebuilt in a magnificent manner.


The English Baroque, brick-built, western range of Wentworth Woodhouse was begun in 1725 by Thomas Watson-Wentworth, (after 1728 Lord Malton)[11] after he inherited it from his father in 1723. It replaced the Jacobean structure that was once the home of Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford, whom Charles I sacrificed in 1641 to appease Parliament. The builder to whom Wentworth's grandson turned for a plan for the grand scheme that he intended[12] was a local builder and country architect, Ralph Tunnicliffe,[13] who had a practice in Derbyshire and South Yorkshire. Tunnicliffe was pleased enough with this culmination of his provincial practice to issue an engraving signed "R. Tunniclif, architectus"[14] which must date before 1734, as it is dedicated to Baron Malton, Watson-Wentworth's earlier title.[14] However the Baroque style was disliked by Whigs, and the new house was not admired. In c. 1734, before the West Front was finished, Wentworth's grandson Thomas Watson-Wentworth commissioned Henry Flitcroft to build the East Front "extension", in fact a new and much larger house, facing the other way, southeastward. The model they settled on was Colen Campbell's Wanstead House, illustrated in Vitruvius Britannicus i, 1715.

That same year the rebuilding was already well underway. In a letter from the amateur architect Sir Thomas Robinson of Rokeby to his father-in-law Lord Carlisle of 6 June 1734, Sir Thomas reports that he found the garden front "finished" and that a start had been made on the main front: "when finished 'twill be a stupendous fabric, infinitely superior to anything we have now in England", and he adds "The whole finishing will be entirely submitted to Lord Burlington, and I know of no subject's house in Europe will have 7 such magnificent rooms so finely proportioned as these will be."[15] In the 20th century, Nikolaus Pevsner would agree,[16] but the mention of the architect-earl Burlington, arbiter of architectural taste, boded ill for the provincial surveyor-builder, Tunnicliffe. It is doubtless to Burlington's intervention that about this time, before the West Front was finished, the Earl of Malton, as he had now become, commissioned Henry Flitcroft to revise Tunnicliffe's plan there and build the East Front range. Flitcroft was Burlington's professional architectural amanuensis— "Burlington Harry" as he was called; he had prepared for the engravers the designs of Inigo Jones published by Burlington and William Kent in 1727, and in fact Kent was also called in for confabulation over Wentworth Woodhouse, mediated by Sir Thomas Robinson,[17] though in the event the pedestrian Flitcroft was not unseated and continued to provide designs for the house over the following decade: he revised and enlarged Tunnicliffe's provincial Baroque West Front and added wings, as well as temples and other structures in the park. Contemporary engravings of the grand public East Front give Flitcroft as architect. Flitcroft, right-hand man of the architectural dilettanti and fully occupied as well at the Royal Board of Works, could not constantly be on-site, however: Francis Bickerton, surveyor and builder of York, paid bills in 1738 and 1743.

The grand East Front is the more often illustrated. The West front, the "garden front" that Sir Thomas Robinson found to be finished in 1734, is the private front that looked onto a giardino secreto between the house front and the walled kitchen garden, intended for family enjoyment rather than social and political ambitions expressed in the East Front.[18] Most remnants of it were redesigned in the 19th century.[19]

Wentworth Woodhouse was inherited by Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham, briefly Prime Minister in 1765–66 and again in 1782. He received Benjamin Franklin here in 1771. The architect he employed at the house was John Carr of York, who added an extra storey to parts of the East Front and provided the porticoes to the matching wings, each the equivalent of a moderately grand country house. James "Athenian" Stuart contributed designs for panels in the Pillared Hall.[20] The Whistlejacket Room was named for George Stubbs' portrait that hung in it of Whistlejacket, one of the most famous racehorses of all time.[21] The additions were completed in 1772. The second Marquess envisaged a sculpture gallery at the house, which never came to fruition; four marbles by Joseph Nollekens were carried out to his commission, in expectation of the gallery; the Diana, signed and dated 1778, is now at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Juno, Venus and Minerva, grouped with a Roman antique marble of Paris, are at the J. Paul Getty Museum.[22]

Wentworth Woodhouse, with all its contents, subsequently passed to the family of the Marquess's sister, the Earls Fitzwilliam.

The park

Having finished the course of alterations in the hands of John Carr, Lord Fitzwilliam turned in 1790 to the most prominent landscape gardener,[23] Humphry Repton, for whom this was the season's most ambitious project, one that he would describe in detail while the memory was still fresh, in Some Observations of the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening (1803). A terrace centred on the main block effected a transition between the house and the rolling grazing land. Four obelisks stood on the bowling green, dwarfed by the scale of the house;[24] Repton re-sited them. Though the parkland had accumulated numerous eye-catcheres and features (see below), Repton found there were few trees, the house being surrounded by "coarse grass and boulders"[25] which Repton also removed, before the large-scale earth-moving operations began, effected by men with shovels and donkey-carts, to reshape the lumpy ground into smooth swells. Two large pools, visible from the East Front and the approach drive, were excavated into a serpentine shape. Some of Flitcroft's outbuildings were demolished, though not Carr's handsome stable court (1768), entered through a pedimented Tuscan arch. Many trees were planted.


The grounds (and surrounding area) contain a number of follies, many with associations in the arena of 18th-century Whig politics. They include:

  • Hoober stand. A tapering pyramid with a hexagonal lantern, named for the ancient wood in which it was erected. It is 98 feet (30 m) high and was built to Flitcroft's design in 1747–48 to commemorate the defeat of the Jacobite rebellion of 1745, in which Lord Malton and his surviving son took part; his defensive efforts for the Hanoverian Whig establishment were rewarded with the Lord Lieutenancy of Yorkshire and the title Marquess of Rockingham: thus the monument indirectly reflects the greater glory of the family. The tower, which surveys the surrounding landscape like a watchtower, is open to the public on Sunday afternoons throughout the summer.
  • Keppel's Column. A 115 ft (35 m) Tuscan column built to commemorate the acquittal of the court-martialed Admiral Keppel, a close friend of Rockingham. Its entasis visibly bulges owing to an adjustment in its height, made when funding problems reduced the height. It was designed by John Carr.
  • The Rockingham Mausoleum. A three-storey building 90 ft (27 m) high, situated in woodland, where only the top level is visible over the treetops. It was commissioned in 1783 by the Earl Fitzwilliam as a memorial to the late first Marquess of Rockingham; it was designed by John Carr, whose first design, for an obelisk, was rejected, in favour of an adaptation of the Roman Cenotaph of the Julii at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, near Arles.[26] The ground floor is an enclosed hall containing a statue of the former prime minister by Joseph Nollekens, plus busts of his eight closest friends. The first floor is an open colonnade with Corinthian columns surrounding the (empty) sarcophagus. The top storey is a Roman-style cupola. Like Hoober Stand, the Mausoleum is open on summer Sunday afternoons.
  • Needle's Eye. A 46-foot (14 m) high, sandstone block pyramid with an ornamental urn on the top and a tall Gothic ogee arch through the middle, which straddles a disused roadway. It was built in the 18th century allegedly to win a bet after the second Marquess claimed he could drive a coach and horses through the eye of a needle.
  • Bear Pit. Accessible if patronising the nearby Garden centre. Built on two levels with a spiral stair. The outer doorway (about 1630) is part of the architecture of the original house. At the end of the garden is a grotto guarded by two life-sized statues of Roman soldiers.
Wentworth Woodhouse Doric Lodge

"Doric Lodge" in the grounds

Needle's Eye

The Needle's Eye

The Rockingham Mausoleum - geograph.org.uk - 1318188

The Rockingham Mausoleum

The Bear Pit in Wentworth Woodhouse Gardens - geograph.org.uk - 881745

Doorway to the Bear Pit

Royal visit of 1912

Argent chevron azure three martlets sable crescents Or
Arms of Watson, Earl of Rockingham: Argent, on a chevron azure between three martlets sable as many crescents or. Motto: "Mea Gloria Fides" ("Faith is My Glory")[27], which is displayed in large Roman capitals on the frieze of the classical pediment of Wentworth Woodhouse

King George V and Queen Mary visited South Yorkshire from 8 to 12 July 1912, and stayed at Wentworth Woodhouse for four days. The house party consisted of a large number of guests, including: Dr Cosmo Gordon Lang, Archbishop of Canterbury; The 5th Earl of Harewood and The Countess of Harewood; The Marchioness of Londonderry; The 1st Marquess of Zetland and Lady Zetland; The 10th Earl of Scarborough and Lady Scarborough; The 5th Earl of Rosse and Lady Rosse; Admiral Lord Charles Beresford and Lady Mina Beresford; Mr Walter Long and Lady Doreen Long; and Lord Helmsley and Lady Helmsley.[28]

The visit concluded on the evening of 11 July with a torchlight tattoo by miners, and a musical programme by members of the Sheffield Musical Union and the Wentworth Choral Society. A crowd of 25,000 gathered on the lawn to witness the King and Queen in the balcony of the portico, from which the King gave a speech.[29]

The Intelligence connection in the Second World War

During the Second World War the house acted as a Training Depot and Headquarters of the Intelligence Corps,[30][31][32] although by 1945 conditions for trainee intelligence soldiers had deteriorated to such a state that questions were asked in the House of Commons.[33] Some of the training involved motorcycle dispatch rider skills, as Intelligence Corps personnel often used motorcycles. The grounds of the house and surrounding road network were used as motorcycle training areas.[34]

Coal mining on the estate

Opencast coal mining in 1947 at Wentworth Woodhouse
Opencast mining reaching the back of the house. From The Sphere, 8 February 1947

In April 1946, on the orders of Manny Shinwell (the then Labour Party's Minister of Fuel and Power) a "column of lorries and heavy plant machinery" arrived at Wentworth. The objective was the mining of a large part of the estate close to the house for coal. This was an area where the prolific Barnsley seam was within 100 feet (30 m) of the surface and the area between the house and the Rockingham Mausoleum became the largest open cast mining site in Britain at that time: 132,000 tons of coal were removed solely from the gardens.[35] Ostensibly the coal was desperately needed in Britain's austere post-war economy to fuel the railways, but the decision has been widely seen as useful cover for an act of class-war spite against the coal-owning aristocracy. A survey by Sheffield University, commissioned by Peter Wentworth-Fitzwilliam, the 8th Earl, found the coal to be "very poor stuff" and "not worth the getting"; this contrasted with Shinwell's assertion that it was "exceptionally good-quality."[36]

Wentworth Woodhouse 01
The open-cast mining came right up to the edge of the main lawn on this side of the house

Shinwell, intent on the destruction of the Fitzwilliams and "the privileged rich", decreed that the mining would continue to the back door of Wentworth, the family's east front. What followed saw the mining of 99 acres (400,000 m2) of lawns and woods, the renowned formal gardens and the show-piece pink shale driveway (a by-product of the family's collieries). Ancient trees were uprooted and the debris of earth and rubble was piled 50 ft (15 m) high in front of the family's living quarters.[36]

Despite Shinwell's vindictiveness, local opinion supported the earl - Joe Hall, President of the Yorkshire Area of the National Union of Mineworkers, said that the "miners in this area will go to almost any length rather than see Wentworth Woodhouse destroyed. To many mining communities it is sacred ground" – in an industry known for harsh treatment of workers, the Fitzwilliams were respected employers known for treating their employees well. The Yorkshire branch later threatened a strike over the Labour Government's plans for Wentworth, and Joe Hall wrote personally to Clement Attlee in a futile attempt to stop the mining.[36] This spontaneous local activism, founded on the genuine popularity of the Fitzwilliam family among locals, was dismissed in Whitehall as "intrigue" sponsored by the earl.[37]

The open-cast mining moved into the fields to the west of the house and continued into the early 1950s. The mined areas took many years to return to a natural state; much of the woodland and the formal gardens were not replaced. The current owners of the property allege that mining operations near the house caused substantial structural damage to the building due to subsidence,[38] and lodged a claim in 2012 of £100 million for remedial works against the Coal Authority.[39] The claim was heard by the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber)in April 2016. In its decision dated 4 October 2016 the Tribunal found that the damage claimed for was not caused by mining subsidence (2016 UKUT 0432 (LC).

Two sets of death duties in the 1940s, and the nationalization of their coal mines, greatly reduced the wealth of the Fitzwilliams, and most of the contents of the house were dispersed, in auction sales in 1948, 1986 and 1998. In the Christies sale in 1948, Rinaldo conquered by Love for Armida by Anthony van Dyck raised 4,600 Guineas[40] (equivalent to £172,514 in 2018).[41]

Many items still remain in the family, with many works lent to museums by the "Trustees of the Fitzwilliam Estates".

On 23 November 2016, the Conservative Chancellor Philip Hammond announced that £7.6 million would be invested in reversing the damage caused by the mining that commenced in 1946, and restoring the house to conditions suitable for visiting.[42]

Lease to Lady Mabel College

Wentworth Woodhouse
East front of Wentworth Woodhouse in 2004.

The Ministry of Health attempted to requisition the house as "housing for homeless industrial families". To prevent this, the Earl attempted to donate the house to the National Trust, however the Trust declined to take it. In the end, Lady Mabel Fitzwilliam, sister of the 7th Earl and a local alderman, brokered a deal whereby the West Riding County Council leased most of the house for an educational establishment, leaving forty rooms as a family apartment.[43] Thus, from 1949 to 1979, the house was home to the Lady Mabel College of Physical Education, which trained female physical education teachers. The college later merged with Sheffield City Polytechnic (now Sheffield Hallam University), which eventually gave up the lease in 1988 as a result of high maintenance costs.[44]

Sheffield City Polytechnic

1979 - 1988 saw students from Sheffield City Polytechnic (now Sheffield Hallam University) based at Wentworth Woodhouse. Two departments, Physical Education and B.A. Geography & Environmental Studies were based on site. The mansion building housed student accommodation (reputedly haunted, according to student accounts) and a dining room and kitchens for lunch and dinner for students living on site. Four separate blocks of modern student accommodation were built in the grounds of the deer park. The Stable Block became the centre of student life, housing offices, lecture rooms, laboratories, squash courts, a swimming pool, and a student bar.

Sold by Fitzwilliam family

By 1989, Wentworth Woodhouse was in a poor state of repair. With the polytechnic no longer a tenant, and with the family no longer requiring the house, the family trustees decided to sell it and the 70 acres (280,000 m2) surrounding it, but retained the Wentworth Estate's 15,000 acres (61 km2) of land. The house was bought by locally born businessman Wensley Grosvenor Haydon-Baillie, who started a programme of restoration. However a business failure caused it to be repossessed by a Swiss bank and put back on the market in 1998.[45] Clifford Newbold (July 1926 – April 2015),[46] an architect from Highgate, bought it for something over £1.5 million.[47] Newbold progressed with a defined programme of renovation/restoration as evidenced in Country Life magazine dated 17 and 24 February 2010.[48] The surrounding parkland is owned by the Wentworth Estates.

In 2014, the house was informally offered for sale by Newbold, with no price specified, but a figure of around £7 million was thought to be sought according to The Times. The house was reported to need works of around £40 million.[49] Following the death of Mr. Newbold, the house was formally advertised for sale in May 2015 via Savills with an asking price of £8 million.[50] In March 2017, the house was sold to the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust for £7 million after a sale to the Hong Kong-based Lake House Group fell through.[51]

In the United Kingdom Chancellor's budget statement of November 2016, it was announced that the Trust was to receive a grant of £7.6 million for restoration work; the Chancellor noted a claim that the property had been Jane Austen's inspiration for Pemberley in her novel Pride and Prejudice.[52][53] It was thought that there might have been a connection to the house because Austen uses the name Fitzwilliam in her novel, but following the Chancellor's Autumn Statement the Jane Austen Society dismissed the likelihood that Austen had had the house in mind, given the absence of any evidence that she had visited the estate.[54][50] Austen does, however, name a character Frederick Wentworth in Persuasion, and the eponymous heroine of Emma has the surname Woodhouse.


The series from BBC titled The Country House Revealed was accompanied by a full-length illustrated companion book published by the BBC which featured a dedicated chapter on Wentworth Woodhouse (Chapter Four). The six chapters of the book corresponded to the six episodes of the BBC series.[55]

Film locations

The house and grounds have been used in a number of film and television productions including:

See also

  • The Wodehouse, a country house near Wombourne, Staffordshire, notable for its connections with British musical history
  • The Country House Revealed, Wentworth House was featured in Dan Cruickshank's show exploring houses not open to the public and the families which built them.


  1. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1132769)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  2. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1001163)". Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  3. ^ "Wentworth Woodhouse – now open for house tours, garden tours soon". Wentworth Woodhouse. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  4. ^ The Sunday Times Magazine, 11 February 2007, p 19
  5. ^ "Wentworth Woodhouse: A vision of greatness". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
  6. ^ Passino, Carla. "'Pride and Prejudice' Estate Is Up for Sale". Forbes. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  7. ^ Visiting Britain's Largest and Smallest Houses by Various Travel Authors on Creators.com – A Syndicate Of Talent
  8. ^ M. J. Charlesworth, "The Wentworths: Family and Political Rivalry in the English Landscape Garden" Garden History 14.2 (Autumn 1986):120–137) passim.
  9. ^ The Fitzwilliam family archives from Wentworth Woodhouse were deposited at Sheffield Public Library in 1948.
  10. ^ Charlesworth 1986:120–137 passim.
  11. ^ Baron Malton, as he then was; he was subsequently created Earl of Malton (1734) and Marquess of Rockingham (1746).
  12. ^ The first block constructed already included a ground-floor gallery 130 feet (40 m) long (Charlesworth 1986:126).
  13. ^ Ralph Tunnicliffe (ca 1688–1736) appears in several churchwardens' accounts for rebuilding and alterations to churches; just before his involvement at Wentworth Woodhouse, he had been making alterations at Wortley Hall, West Yorkshire, for Edward Wortley Montagu (Howard Colvin, A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600–1840 3rd ed. [Yale University Press] 1995, s.v. "Tunnicliffe, Ralph"); Wortley Montagu was a prominent Whig politician who moved in the same circles as Lord Malton: an obelisk honouring his wife, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu stands in the rival Wentworth parkland, Wentworth Castle.
  14. ^ a b Colvin 1995, s.v "Tunnicliffe, Ralph".
  15. ^ Quoted in Michael I. Wilson, William Kent, Architect, Designer, Painter, Gardener, 1685–1748 1984:166f.
  16. ^ Pevsner, "The interiors of Wentworth Woodhouse are of a quite exceptional value... The suite along the E front from the Whistlejacket Room at the SE to the library at the NE end is not easily matched anywhere in England" (Yorkshire: The West Riding [Buildings of England] 1967:546).
  17. ^ Sir Thomas Robinson in another letter to Carlisle, enclosing Kent's engraved design for the Treasury Buildings in Whitehall,"'tis some satisfaction to me, as a Yorkshireman (and as I was entrusted by Lord Malton in negotiating the agreement between him and Mr. Kent), to reflect that the architect of this beautiful building [the Treasury] is from henceforward to conduct and finish his Lordship's" (quoted in Wilson 1984:166). No intervention by Kent in Flitcroft's project at Wentworth Woodhouse has been detected by historians, however.
  18. ^ "as this theatre of politics unfolded over the next half-century it was commemorated by the protagonists in stone, Charlesworth remarked (1986:129).
  19. ^ Charlesworth 1986:127.
  20. ^ His portraits of William III and George II, commissioned by Rockingham, have not been traced: Martin Hopkinson, "A Portrait by James 'Athenian' Stuart" The Burlington Magazine 132 No. 1052 (November 1990:794–795) p. 794.
  21. ^ Dated ca 1768–70 by Ellis K. Waterhouse, "Lord Fitzwilliam's Sporting Pictures by Stubbs" The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs 88 No. 521 (August 1946:197, 199).
  22. ^ Paul Williamson, "Acquisitions of Sculpture at the Victoria and Albert Museum, 1986–1991: Supplement" The Burlington Magazine 133 No. 1065 (December 1991:876–880) p. 879, fig. xi.
  23. ^ The grander term "landscape architect" was a coinage of the late 19th century.
  24. ^ Horace Walpole had thought they looked like tenpins.
  25. ^ Repton 1803, quoted by Edward Hyams, Capability Brown and Humphrey Repron, 1971:148f.
  26. ^ Noted by Charlesworth 1986:135.
  27. ^ Henry Washbourne. The Book of mottos, borne by nobility and gentry, public companies, cities, &c: with their English significations, bearers' names, titles, etc. and occasional notes and illustrations. London: Stewart & Murray, 1841.
  28. ^ "Society and Court News". Leeds Mercury. Leeds. 9 July 1912. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  29. ^ ""My Friends." The King's Speech to His Subjects. Wentworth Spectacle". Sheffield Evening Telegraph. Sheffield. 12 July 1912. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  30. ^ "British Military History". www.britishmilitaryhistory.co.uk. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
  31. ^ "BBC – WW2 People's War – My War in Two Armies: Part 9 of 10 – Call-up to the British Army". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
  32. ^ Bijl, Nick Van Der (2013). Sharing the Secret: The History of the Intelligence Corps 1940-2010. Pen and Sword. pp. 132–133. ISBN 9781473833180. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
  33. ^ "Intelligence Corps Depot, Rotherham (Hansard, 18 December 1945)". hansard.millbanksystems.com. Hansard. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
  34. ^ "DEAR SERGEANT OR THE STORY OF ROUGH RIDING MOTORCYCLING COURSE | Yorkshire Film Archive". www.yorkshirefilmarchive.com. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  35. ^ Hyams 1971:149.
  36. ^ a b c The Sunday Times Magazine, 11 February 2007 p. 23
  37. ^ Catherine Bailey, Black Diamonds: The Rise and Fall of an English Dynasty, (London: Penguin) 2007:393. ISBN 0-670-91542-4
  38. ^ "Stately home owners claim £100 million as house sinks into ground". The Telegraph. 26 February 2012. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
  39. ^ "£100m Claim for Owners of Wentworth Woodhouse Stately Home". Salmon Assessors Ltd. 23 March 2012. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
  40. ^ "Vandyck fetches 4,600 Guineas Services". Gloucestershire Echo. Gloucester. 11 June 1948. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  41. ^ UK Retail Price Index inflation figures are based on data from Clark, Gregory (2017). "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  42. ^ Robinson, Martin (23 November 2016). "Britain's largest private home is saved for the nation as Chancellor pledges £7.6 million to turn Wentworth Woodhouse into a tourist attraction". Mail Online. Associated Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  43. ^ Bailey 2007:397–402.
  44. ^ Bailey 2007:449.
  45. ^ Bailey 2007:451.
  46. ^ Rotherham Advertiser, 6 May 2015
  47. ^ English Country Houses News: Wentworth Woodhouse
  48. ^ Country Life – Picture Library
  49. ^ The Times, 1 November 2014
  50. ^ a b "Where would Mr Darcy live now? Jane Austen's 'Pemberley' is on sale". The Telegraph. 17 May 2015. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  51. ^ "Wentworth Woodhouse sold to conservation group for £7m". BBC News. 4 February 2016. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  52. ^ "Wentworth Woodhouse awarded £7.6m in Autumn Statement". BBC News. 23 November 2016. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  53. ^ Larry, Elliott (23 November 2016). "Autumn statement more Fifty Shades of Grey than Pride and Prejudice". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  54. ^ "'No evidence' Jane Austen ever went to stately home mentioned in autumn statement". The Guardian. 23 November 2016. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  55. ^ Beckett, Matthew (30 May 2011). "The Country House Revealed – Wentworth Woodhouse, Yorkshire". The Country Seat. Retrieved 4 December 2016.

External links

Charles Wentworth-Fitzwilliam, 5th Earl Fitzwilliam

Charles William Wentworth Fitzwilliam, 5th Earl Fitzwilliam in the peerage of Ireland, and 3rd Earl Fitzwilliam in the peerage of Great Britain, (4 May 1786 – 4 October 1857) was a British nobleman and politician. He was President three times of the Royal Statistical Society in 1838–1840, 1847–1849, and 1853–1855; and President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in its inaugural year (1831–2).

He was born the only son of William Fitzwilliam, 4th Earl Fitzwilliam and his first wife, Lady Charlotte Ponsonby. He was a pupil at Eton College from 1796 to 1802.

Before inheriting the Earldom on 8 February 1833 on the death of his father, he was known by the courtesy title of Viscount Milton. Under that name he was the Whig Member of Parliament for Northamptonshire between 1831 and 1832.

The family seat was Wentworth Woodhouse, reputedly the largest private house in England.

Earl of Strafford

Earl of Strafford is a title that has been created three times in English and British history.

The first creation was in the Peerage of England in 1640 for Thomas Wentworth, the close advisor of King Charles I. He had already succeeded his father as second Baronet of Wentworth Woodhouse in 1614. The Wentworth Baronetcy, of Wentworth Woodhouse in the County of York, had been created in the Baronetage of England on 20 June 1611 for Thomas's father, William Wentworth. Thomas was created Baron Wentworth, of Wentworth-Woodhouse, Baron of Newmarch and Oversley, in 1628, and Viscount Wentworth in 1629. He was made Baron Raby in 1640, at the same time he was given the earldom.In 1641, he was attainted. His son, William, successfully had the attainder reversed in 1662, becoming the second earl, but died without heirs in 1695 when the barony of Wentworth, viscountcy and earldom became extinct. He was succeeded in the barony of Raby according to a special remainder by his first cousin once removed, Thomas Wentworth, who became the third Baron. He was the grandson of Sir William Wentworth, younger brother of the first Earl of the 1640 creation. While gaining the barony, he did not receive the Woodhouse estate, which was inherited by Thomas Watson, thereafter a source of rivalry between the two men.In 1711, the earldom was recreated when the 3rd Baron Raby was created Viscount Wentworth and Earl of Strafford in the Peerage of Great Britain. He was created Duke of Strafford in the Jacobite Peerage on 5 January 1722. He was succeeded in 1739 by his son, William, the second earl. William had no issue and on his death in 1791 the Jacobite peerages, such as they were, became extinct. He was succeeded in the remaining peerages by his cousin Frederick. As he also had no successors, all titles became extinct on his death in 1799.The title was created for a third time in 1847 in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, when the prominent soldier John Byng, 1st Baron Strafford, was made Viscount Enfield, of Enfield in the County of Middlesex, and Earl of Strafford. He had already been created Baron Strafford, of Harmondsworth in the County of Middlesex, in 1833. John Byng was the second son of George Byng (c.1735-1789), son the Hon. Robert Byng (1703-1740), third son of George Byng, 1st Viscount Torrington (1663-1733).

John Byng's mother was Anne Conolly, whose mother was Lady Anne Wentworth, a daughter of Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford (1672-1739) (of the second creation). John Byng was thus a great-grandson of the 1st Earl of Strafford. John Byng was succeeded by his eldest son, the second Earl. He was a Whig politician and held minor office under Lord Grey, Lord Melbourne and Lord John Russell.His eldest son, the third Earl, was a Liberal politician and served under William Ewart Gladstone as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Under-Secretary of State for India. In 1874, twelve years before he succeeded his father, he was summoned to the House of Lords through a writ of acceleration in his father's junior title of Baron Strafford. On his death the titles passed to his younger brother, the fourth Earl. He was succeeded by his younger brother, the fifth Earl. He was a clergyman. His son, the sixth Earl, was a County Alderman in Middlesex and Hertfordshire. He was succeeded by his nephew, the seventh Earl. He was the second but only surviving son of the Hon. Ivo Francis Byng, fourth son of the fifth Earl. As of 2016 the titles are held by his grandson, the ninth Earl. As a descendant of the first Viscount Torrington, Lord Strafford is also in remainder to this peerage and its subsidiary titles the barony of Byng and baronetcy of Wrotham.Another member of the Byng family was the soldier Field Marshal Julian Byng, 1st Viscount Byng of Vimy. He was the youngest son of the second Earl of Strafford from his second marriage.

Family homes are divided up among its branches but Wrotham Park, historically in Middlesex but now Hertfordshire, and a 17th-century one-storey plus attic cottage in Vernhams Dean, Hampshire have become arguably established seats. Wrotham Park was named as the 17th patriarchs in the family originally had an estate in Wrotham, Kent which they sold.The traditional burial place of the Byng Earls of Strafford is the Byng Mausoleum at Wrotham Park, not to be confused with the Byng Mausoleum in Southill Church, Bedfordshire, built for the burial of the 1st Viscount Torrington, seated at Southill Park.

English Baroque

English Baroque is a term sometimes used to refer to the developments in English architecture that were parallel to the evolution of Baroque architecture in continental Europe between the Great Fire of London (1666) and the Treaty of Utrecht (1713).

Baroque aesthetics, whose influence was so potent in mid-17th century France, made little impact in England during the Protectorate and the first Restoration years.Sir Christopher Wren presided over the genesis of the English Baroque manner, which differed from the continental models by clarity of design and subtle taste for classicism. Following the Great Fire of London, Wren rebuilt fifty-three churches, where Baroque aesthetics are apparent primarily in dynamic structure and multiple changing views. His most ambitious work was St Paul's Cathedral (1675–1711), which bears comparison with the most effulgent domed churches of Italy and France. In this majestically proportioned edifice, the Palladian tradition of Inigo Jones is fused with contemporary continental sensibilities in masterly equilibrium. Less influential were straightforward attempts to engraft the Berniniesque vision onto British church architecture (e.g., by Thomas Archer in St. John's, Smith Square, 1728) and the contemporary mood soon shifted toward the stripped down orthodoxy of British Palladianism popularised by Colen Campbell's influential Vitruvius Britannicus.

Although Wren was also active in secular architecture, the first truly Baroque country house in England was built to a design by William Talman at Chatsworth, starting in 1687. The culmination of Baroque architectural forms comes with Sir John Vanbrugh and Nicholas Hawksmoor. Each was capable of a fully developed architectural statement, yet they preferred to work in tandem, most notably at Castle Howard (1699) and Blenheim Palace (1705). Appuldurcombe House, Isle of Wight, now in ruins, but conserved by English Heritage, must also be mentioned.Castle Howard is a flamboyant assembly of restless masses dominated by a cylindrical domed tower. Blenheim is a more solid construction, where the massed stone of the arched gates and the huge solid portico becomes the main ornament. Vanbrugh's final work was Seaton Delaval Hall (1718), a comparatively modest mansion yet unique in the structural audacity of its style. It was at Seaton Delaval that Vanbrugh, a skillful playwright, achieved the peak of Restoration drama, once again highlighting a parallel between Baroque architecture and contemporary theatre. Despite his efforts, Baroque was never truly to the English taste and well before his death in 1724 the style had lost currency in Britain.In the early 18th century, the style was associated with Toryism, the Continent and Popery by the dominant Whig aristocracy. At Wentworth Woodhouse, Thomas Watson-Wentworth and his son Thomas Watson-Wentworth, 1st Marquess of Rockingham replaced a Jacobean house with a substantial Baroque one in the 1720s, only to find fellow Whigs unimpressed. As a result, a large Palladian building was added, leaving the older one intact.

George Wentworth (of Wentworth Woodhouse)

Sir George Wentworth (of Wentworth Woodhouse) (baptised 20 July 1609) was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1640 to 1644. He fought for the Royalist army in the English Civil War.

Wentworth was the son of Sir William Wentworth, 1st Baronet of Wentworth Woodhouse and his wife Anne Atkins daughter of Robert Atkins, of Stowell, Gloucestershire.In November 1640, Wentworth was elected Member of Parliament for Pontefract in the Long Parliament. He was disabled form sitting in parliament in January 1644 for supporting the Royalist cause. He was general of the King's forces in Ireland.Wentworth married a daughter of Sir Francis Ruish, of Ireland who brought into his possession the manor of Sarre in Kent. Wentworth was the brother of Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford.

Hoober Stand

Hoober Stand is a 30-metre-high (98 ft) tower and Grade II* listed building on a ridge in Wentworth, South Yorkshire in northern England. It was designed by Henry Flitcroft for the Whig aristocrat Thomas Watson-Wentworth, Earl of Malton (later the 1st Marquess of Rockingham) to commemorate the quashing of the 1745 Jacobite rebellion. It lies close to his country seat Wentworth Woodhouse. Its site is approximately 157 metres (515 ft) above sea level and from the top there are long-distance views on a clear day. It is open to the public 2–5 pm on Sundays and bank holiday Mondays from the spring bank holiday weekend until the last Sunday in September. Hoober Stand is one of several follies in and around Wentworth Woodhouse park; the others include Needle's Eye and Keppel's Column. Sidney Oldall Addy, the Sheffield author calls the structure Woburn Stand in his 1888 book, A glossary of words used in the neighbourhood of Sheffield.

John Carr (architect)

John Carr (1723–1807) was a prolific English architect. Best known for Buxton Crescent and Harewood House, much of his work was in the Palladian style. In his day he was considered to be the leading architect in the north of England.

Keppel's Column

Keppel's Column is a 115-foot (35 m) tower Grade II* listed building between Wentworth and Kimberworth in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England. Keppel's Column is one of several follies in and around Wentworth Woodhouse park; the others include Hoober Stand and Needle's Eye.

Lady Mabel Fitzwilliam

Lady Mabel Florence Harriet Wentworth-Fitzwilliam (14 July 1870 – 26 September 1951) was an English socialist politician, later known as Lady Mabel Smith.Her father was William Wentworth Fitzwilliam, Viscount Milton, the eldest son of William Wentworth-FitzWilliam, 6th Earl FitzWilliam. Her father died before inheriting the Earldom and it passed to her brother, William Wentworth-FitzWilliam, 7th Earl FitzWilliam whose lifestyle she criticised; "he had so much and everyone else had so little".She married Lt. Col. William Mackenzie Smith on 29 July 1899 and went to live in Barnes Hall near Grenoside, Sheffield. After her marriage she was known as Lady Mabel Smith.

She was a local politician in South Yorkshire, firstly as a West Riding County Councillor and later as a county Alderman and member of the Workers' Educational Authority.In 1918 she visited France as Inspector of Yorkshire's Women's Agricultural Auxiliary Corps.She served on the Departmental Committee on Public Libraries which was appointed by the then President of the Board of Education Charles Trevelyan in 1924, reporting in June, 1927 and was appointed a member of the Adult Education Committee set up by the then President of the Board of Education Eustace Percy in 1927 She served on the Labour Party National Executive Committee in 1932. and 1934She assisted greatly in the establishment of Ecclesfield Grammar School in the early 1930s, and after its great expansion in the early 1950s its new Assembly Hall, opened in 1953, was named Lady Mabel Hall.

She was a committed Christian and social worker. She stated that her social conscience developed after seeing the conditions of children who lived on the Wentworth estate. Lady Mabel's niece, Joyce Smith, described her as a "rabid socialist" whose name was "absolutely taboo" at Wentworth Woodhouse. In 1910 she contributed ₤1.1s. to the ₤100,000 Fund of the suffragette Women's Social and Political Union, according to its organ, Votes for Women.From 1949 to 1974, Wentworth Woodhouse was changed into a College of Physical Education, for this period the college was named after Lady Mabel, as she had brokered the deal for its establishment, allowing the family to maintain private apartments. The college trained female physical education teachers. The college later merged with Sheffield City Polytechnic and the name Wentworth Woodhouse was restored.

Marquess of Rockingham

Marquess of Rockingham, in the County of Northampton, was a title in the Peerage of Great Britain. It was created in 1746 for Thomas Watson-Wentworth, 1st Earl of Malton. The Watson family descended from Lewis Watson, Member of Parliament for Lincoln. He was created a Baronet, of Rockingham Castle in the County of Northampton, in the Baronetage of England in 1621. In 1645 he was further honoured when he was raised to the Peerage of England as Baron Rockingham. The third Baron served as Lord-Lieutenant of Kent. In 1714 he was created Baron Throwley, Viscount Sondes and Earl of Rockingham in the Peerage of Great Britain. His eldest son Edward Watson, Viscount Sondes, predeceased him and he was succeeded by his grandson, the second Earl (the eldest son of Lord Sondes). The second Earl was Lord-Lieutenant of Kent before his early death in 1745. He was childless and was succeeded by his younger brother, Thomas. He had previously represented Canterbury in Parliament. He died in 1746, whereupon the barony of Throwley, viscountcy and earldom became extinct.

He was succeeded in the baronetcy and barony of Rockingham by his first cousin once removed, Thomas Watson-Wentworth, 1st Earl of Malton, who became the sixth Baron. He was the son of the Honourable Thomas Watson-Wentworth, third son of the second Baron. He had adopted the additional surname Wentworth when he inherited the estate of his maternal uncle, William Wentworth, 2nd Earl of Strafford, in 1695. In 1728 he was raised to the Peerage of Great Britain as Baron Malton. In 1733 he was made Baron Harrowden, Baron Wath, Viscount Higham and Earl of Malton in the Peerage of Great Britain. In April 1746, two months after succeeding in the barony of Rockingham, he was created Marquess of Rockingham, in the County of Northampton, in the Peerage of Great Britain. He was succeeded by his second but only surviving son, the second Marquess. In September 1750, two months before succeeding his father, he was raised to the Peerage of Ireland in his own right as Baron Malton and Earl Malton. Lord Rockingham was a prominent Whig grandee and served as Prime Minister of Great Britain between 1765 and 1766 and again in 1782. When he died in 1782 all of his titles became extinct. His estates passed to his nephew, William Fitzwilliam, 4th Earl Fitzwilliam.

The family seats were Rockingham Castle, Northamptonshire, and Wentworth Woodhouse, near Rotherham, Yorkshire.

Needle's Eye

Needle's Eye is a 14-metre (46 ft) pyramid Grade II* listed building which is situated in Wentworth, South Yorkshire in northern England. Needle's Eye is one of several follies in and around Wentworth Woodhouse park; the others include Hoober Stand and Keppel's Column.

Scholes, South Yorkshire

Scholes is a small village in the Rotherham borough of South Yorkshire, England, near the southern boundary of Wentworth Woodhouse, formerly the family seat of the Earls Fitzwilliam. The village is the location of Keppel's Column.

Scholes Coppice contains several archaeological features, including Caesar's Camp, an Iron Age fort, regarded as one of the best examples of its kind in South Yorkshire.


Sheffield-Simplex was a British car and motorcycle manufacturer operating from 1907 to 1920 based in Sheffield, Yorkshire, and Kingston upon Thames, Surrey.

The company received financial backing from aristocrat and coal magnate Earl Fitzwilliam. The first few cars were made by Peter Brotherhood and were a continuation of the Brotherhood-Crocker cars made in London in which Earl Fitzwilliam had been an investor. Stanley Brotherhood sold the London site in 1905 and moved his Peter Brotherhood business to Peterborough, near Fitzwilliam's second seat at Milton Park. He could not get permission to build a car factory in Peterborough so the Earl suggested a move to Sheffield where Stanley Brotherhood built a new factory in Tinsley a few miles south of Wentworth-Woodhouse, the Fitzwilliam family seat.

The Rockingham Mausoleum

The Rockingham Mausoleum, Wentworth, near Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England was commissioned in 1783 by William Fitzwilliam, 4th Earl Fitzwilliam when he inherited the estates of his uncle Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham who died without a direct male heir in 1782. The architect was John Carr of York, who had already built the stable block at Wentworth Woodhouse for Lord Rockingham himself. Carr was to do a great deal of work for Lord Fitzwilliam, notably alterations to the side pavilions and to the west elevation of Wentworth Woodhouse. He submitted a number of options for the monument, some of which were based on the concept of an obelisk. The three-storey design ultimately selected may have been inspired by the Mausoleum of the Julii at St Remy de Provence, Glanum near Arles, France. As executed, it is a combination of a cenotaph and a Temple of Friendship, housing within it a statue by Joseph Nollekens of Rockingham himself in Garter robes with upraised hand. The name by which the memorial is now known is in fact a misnomer, since Charles Watson-Wentworth is buried in York Minster. Eighteenth and nineteenth century sources refer to the edifice simply as "the Monument".

Thomas Watson-Wentworth

Hon. Thomas Watson, later known as Thomas Watson-Wentworth (17 June 1665 – 6 October 1723), of Wentworth Woodhouse, Yorkshire, was an English landowner and politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1701 and 1723.

Thomas Watson-Wentworth, 1st Marquess of Rockingham

Thomas Watson-Wentworth, 1st Marquess of Rockingham, KB, PC (I) (13 November 1693 – 14 December 1750) of Wentworth Woodhouse, Yorkshire was a British Whig politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1715 until 1728 when he was raised to the Peerage as Baron Malton.

Thomas Wentworth-Fitzwilliam, 10th Earl Fitzwilliam

William Thomas George Wentworth-Fitzwilliam, 10th Earl Fitzwilliam JP (28 May 1904 – 21 September 1979), known as Tom, was a British peer. He was the 10th and last Earl Fitzwilliam. He died in 1979 at Wentworth Woodhouse, Yorkshire. He left no issue from his marriage.

He left £11,776,401 gross (£11,584,880 net), thus paying virtually no death duties.

Wensley Haydon-Baillie

Wensley Grosvenor Haydon-Baillie (born 1943) is the son of a surgeon from Worksop, Nottinghamshire, was once one of the 50 richest men in the UK after working his way up in the pharmaceutical industry. A company he invested in, Porton International, sold at high prices when it seemed it had a cure for herpes. It collapsed when it turned out it did not and the company wound up selling at a discounted price to Ipsen Pharmaceutical. He owned a collection of Rolls-Royces and an aviation museum housing and restoring many Spitfires. He also owned Wentworth Woodhouse in Yorkshire – one of the largest private homes in Europe with an assumed 365 rooms. In the 1980s, he invested millions in a firm that claimed to have a cure for herpes but it never materialised and in 1998 he admitted to debts of £13m. In 1994, Wensley Haydon-Baillie married Samantha Acland, a secretary. Prince Michael of Kent was best man. He was once the owner of the two largest passenger hovercraft in the world, the SRN4s, and also one of the fastest boats in the world, the GTY Brave Challenger.Wensley Haydon-Baillie is a descendant of Royal Navy officer Jeremiah Coghlan.

Wentworth, South Yorkshire

Wentworth is a village and civil parish in the Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham in South Yorkshire, England.

In the 2001 Census the village had a population of 1,223, increasing to 1,478 at the 2011 Census.The civil parish includes the village of Harley on the B6090 road to the west of the main settlement.

Wentworth baronets

There have been five baronetcies created for persons with the surname Wentworth, four in the Baronetage of England and one in the Baronetage of Great Britain. All creations are extinct.

The Wentworth Baronetcy, of Wentworth Woodhouse in the County of York, was created in the Baronetage of England on 1611. For more information on this creation, see Earl of Strafford.

The Wentworth Baronetcy, of Gosfield in the County of Essex, was created in the Baronetage of England on 29 June 1611 for John Wentworth. The title became extinct on his death in 1631.The Wentworth Baronetcy, of West Bretton in the County of York, was created in the Baronetage of England on 27 September 1664 for Thomas Wentworth. The fourth Baronet sat as Member of Parliament for Malton. The title became extinct on the death of the fifth Baronet in 1792.

The Wentworth Baronetcy, of North Elmsal in the County of York, was created in the Baronetage of England on 28 July 1692 for John Wentworth. The title became extinct on the death of the second Baronet in 1741.

The Wentworth Baronetcy, of Parlut in the County of Lincoln, was created in the Baronetage of Great Britain on 16 May 1795 for John Wentworth. The title became extinct on the death of the second Baronet in 1844.

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