Friday, June 11, 2021

News: Plans in for Wentworth's Camelia House


A planning application has been submitted to bring back to life the derelict Camellia House in the grounds of Wentworth Woodhouse in Rotherham.

Rothbiz has reported previoulsy that redeveloping the Grade II* listed Camellia House into a daytime cafe and evening events venue is Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust’s first major project to bring a derelict building back into use.

The application also includes plans to demolish a 1970s teaching accommodation block and a create a new car park.

The Camellia House, which is on Historic England’s At Risk Register, was an orangery with a tea room created in 1738 for Lady Rockingham, wife of the 1st Marquess, to entertain her guests.

The structure of the Camellia House as it stands today dates principally to 1812, although it also incorporates an earlier structure dating to 1732 which itself reused elements of a 17th century follie which was originally located elsewhere with the grounds.

The plans for the building, from Donald Insall Associates, involve a new kitchen, plant room and WC facilities located within the flanking wings within the tea room, a new glazed roof and gutters, the creation of level access into the building, the restoration of the painted timber panelling, a new underfloor heating system and a new ground source heat pump, repairs to the pool and fountain and new landscaping and pathways.

The the current camellias will remain in place and a careful plan for their protection has been developed by head gardener, Scott Jamieson.

The application states: "The interventions proposed are limited to those considered absolutely necessary to help create an accessible building and ensure its future sustainable public use, to enable visitor access into the restored historic spaces and to give it a new vital purpose ensuring its principal special interest is preserved, accessed and understood.

"The works of repair and restoration proposed will enable its removal from the ‘At Risk’ register whilst the scheme as a whole will secure the conservation of the building in the longterm. Furthermore the role of the Camellia House in the wider proposals (including the demolition of the 1970s Teaching Accomodation and the provision of a main visitor car park) in order to bring the Estate into public use, will have an exceptional impact on local character and distinctiveness, allowing people to experience and engage with one of the foremost historic country estates in England in a manner previously unknown.

"Introducing a viable and sustainable use into this very important listed building, and ensuring this is to a standard of design and quality worthy of its status both internally and externally, is essential. Without a sustainable and economically viable use, the other alternative is to allow the building to further deteriorate over time."

The 1970s teaching accommodation block is located immediately to the west of the stables and is at odds with the historic character of the other buildings on site.

Demolition would enable the creation of a new 205 space car park to meet the capacity required for the visitor attraction which is seen as integral to the Trust’s ambitions to turn the Estate into a thriving visitor attraction, to the economic benefit of the borough more widely.

Wentworth Woodhouse website

Images: Damian Griffiths / Donald Insall Associates


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