Thursday, December 20, 2018

News: New phase of urgent repairs at Wentworth Woodhouse

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Experts are applying for the listed building consent needed to carry out the next phase of much-needed repair works to Wentworth Woodhouse in Rotherham.

Historic England is overseeing spending of a £7.6m grant funding for emergency repairs through its repair grants for heritage at risk. They tie to the recently unveiled masterplan for the historic Grade I listed mansion which aims to create a world-class visitor attraction with local heritage and culture exhibitions and a focus firmly on the restoration task.

The latest plans will allow for the second phase of conservation repairs to the mansion house. Earlier phases included the replacement, alterations and repairs to sections of roof.

Drawn up by Donald Insall Associates, the plans show that work is required to the grand staircase where a statue lightwell is described as "troublesome in that it collects rainwater." Roof coverings on the wing that includes the Whistlejacket and Van Dyke rooms also need repairing and insulation will be added.

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Guttering on the central area of the house that could have caused timber decay and "significant decay" in the Marble Saloon, is set to be replaced. A new steel structure is also proposed to provide support to the stone flags on the portico.

A disabled platform lift is proposed to be installed to afford essential disabled access to the West Front.

The plans state: "The proposals in this application have been designed to secure the long term protection of this heritage asset, described as being in a critical state of decay – and on the Heritage at Risk Register.

"Design value of the East Front façade and the East Front state rooms are not harmed therefore these principle areas of high significance are not affected.

"Harm to the overall significance of the heritage asset as a result of the impact of this conservation project is considered less than substantial harm. Whereby doing nothing will lead to substantial harm through decay and eventual loss of the historic fabric."

The masterplan from the preservation trust which owns the house will need £150m to realise. For the main house, the future uses will include the main visitor attraction, commercial units, catering and luxury holiday accommodation.

Cafés, fine dining, holiday lets, self-contained apartments, commercial units, administrative space, visitor facilities, events space suitable for weddings and retail units all feature in the plans.

Wentworth Woodhouse website

Images: Wentworth Woodhouse

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