Friday, July 19, 2019

News: Wentworth Woodhouse tours taken to a whole new level


Rooftop tours are now being given at Wentworth Woodhouse in Rotherham, providing a unique chance to view the Grade I listed mansion and its restoration.

The house is now encased in 700 tonnes of scaffolding to enable vital roof repairs to take place - allowing visitors to be taken to a whole new level.

After climbing 135 steps to the rooftop, a knowledgeable guide will show visitors the "three roofs" of Wentworth Woodhouse's different houses and give an update on the specialist work taking place. A fully-accessible lift is available for visitors who require assistance.

Woodhead Group, experts in heritage and conservation, has been appointed by Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust (WWPT) to carry out the repair, restoration and replacement of the building's vast roof as part of its 25-year masterplan.

A bespoke scaffolding solution is being put in place by subcontractors Lyndon SGB to provide a temporary roof to protect the building during the conservation works.


Above the magnificent state rooms, key elements of work includes roofing and masonry to areas including the East Front, Long Gallery, North Pavilion and East Front Staircases.

On certain days, there will also be the opportunity to see restoration in action, as scaffolders, masons and other skilled workers tackle the four-acre roofline and its larger-than-life statues.

The vast rooftop is being covered by a huge tented roof, designed to protect the building from the elements during the repair process and visitors whatever the weather.

The start of the vital work means the trust's popular Make Your Mark in History Appeal must draw to a close at the end of August.

The appeal enables anyone to sponsor a roof slate and have it inscribed with their own message before it goes onto the roof above the famous East Front to remain there for centuries.

Hundreds of supporters have already come forward, paying a suggested minimum donation of £50 and raising over £24,000 for WWPT's huge restoration task.

"People only have until the end of August to leave their mark on the most important part of the house in this unique way," said Sarah McLeod, CEO of WWPT, which purchased the house for £7m in March 2017 after a five-year campaign.

"These messages will last the test of time and this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

"The £24,000 the appeal has brought in since its launch in April 2018 has been a very welcome boost. We are hoping people who love this house will get behind the appeal in its final months and give it a final push.

"After August we begin a two-year restoration project on the roof over the East Front, using funding awarded from the Chancellor's 2016 budget."

Wentworth Woodhouse website

Images: Tom Austen


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