A view from Jeanneb

By Jeanneb53

The right place!

Today we went to Wentworth Woodhouse where I thought we were going last week! I‘ve wanted to visit here ever since reading the book ‘Black Diamonds’, a biography of the Earls Fitzwilliam at Wentworth in the 20th century. 

You can only access the rear gardens at the moment but it was  great with plenty on offer for youngsters - see extra. Eda would have loved it. These deck chairs are dotted around all over fir people to use.

This is the back of the house which is huge but as you can see if you look closely most of the front is shrouded in scaffolding. Today was the day they started taking it down after more than two years of work on restoring the roof to stop water ingress.
We were told it was the second largest scaffold in the country after the Palace of Westminster. 20 years worth of work still to come dependent on fundraising. They hope to reopen the house in the Autumn, hopefully we’ll be back then and I will show the house from the front then.

The issue of the two Wentworth properties comes about as there were two rival brothers trying to outdo each other with their properties and one striving to look down on the other!

I know money at Wentworth Castle came from the slave trade, I believe most of the money at Wentworth Woodhouse came for coal hence ‘black diamonds’. In deed during the war (WW2) open mining was undertaken in the gardens.

In the later part of the 20th century Wentworth Woodhouse housed Lady Mabel college of education for PE. I had a school friend who came here.It must have been amazing.

Leaving via the village of Wentworth, a very pretty village and certainly not what you would envisage as a mining village, we went into the garden centre built in what was originally the walled garden of Wentworth Woodhouse.
Never seen so many cars! There are two restaurants, a shop and a play area plus a few plants. We avoided all that and went through to the Historic gardens. For a small fee we could see the restoration of the Victorian Rock Garden and Fernery, of course, Italian gardens and a sunken garden.There was also a maze and a deer paddock. This will all eventually be returned to the estate.
Great value though we did see on the way out that RHS members were free. Never mind with such a massive restoration every little helps.
A great day out but pretty humid and hot in the sun.

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