Tuesday, April 18, 2023

News: Plans approved for Wentworth Woodhouse stables project


Plans have been approved for a further phase of regeneration at Wentworth Woodhouse in Rotherham which includes the conversion of the Riding School into a large conference and events space.

Described as the most exciting and challenging heritage project of a generation, overall it is set to take up to two decades to deliver and cost over £130m.

This phase focuses on the stables and a proposed £5.1m regeneration project is set to provide jobs and training for the hospitality sector at the historic site. Funding has been secured from the Government's Levelling Up Fund.

Permission has already been granted to convert part of the stables for use as a production kitchen and another part for a 120 cover café catering for visitors as they arrive and leave Wentworth Woodhouse.

A further application, from Donald Insall Architects, set out plans for the other buildings around the stables.

The latest approval, made by council officers without going before the planning board, includes the conversion of the stable's south range, the riding school and "Ostler's House."

The work will not only secure the repair and restoration of the Grade I and II buildings currently in very poor condition with major risk of further decay, but enable the charitable trust which owns the house to generate more income.

The Riding School is set to be converted into a large conference and events space capable of holding 600+ wedding guests, with a new mezzanine providing storage and WCs at ground floor and a bar at mezzanine level.

A main production kitchen will deliver appropriate menus for the proposed café at the Camellia House and the existing kitchen within the mansion, which are both very limited due to size and will work well as satellite kitchens in the future.

The designs for restoring Ostler's House is to use it for overnight accommodation linked to the events space.

Works to bring the derelict buildings back into use, include the conservation and repair of building fabric, structural repairs, improving thermal efficiency and acoustic insulation, mechanical and electrical services, installation of audio-visual equipment, refurbishment of all rooms including repaired or new doors and windows, fire prevention measures, drainage repairs and reordering, new landscaping including entrance gate, and some new built interventions in order to upgrade site into suitable kitchen space for modern use.

Also in the plans is considered demolition and removal of some modern college fabric such as the changing rooms from when the Riding School was used as a college gymnasium.

Wentworth Woodhouse’s huge Stable Block, positioned on the driveway to the Mansion, was created for the 2nd Marquess of Rockingham by architect John Carr of York. When completed in 1782 it was the largest private stables in the country, and remained so until the late 1900s. It boasted stables for 84 hunting, riding, and carriage horses.

Schools are now being tasked with re-designing the Stable Block’s imposing central archway and clock tower as part of the John Carr 300 Challenge, recently launched by the preservation trust and its architects.

Jen Wall, Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust’s Skills Development and Learning Officer, said: "We want budding designers and architects of the future to let their imaginations run riot and create something exciting to go in its place. It could be strikingly modern, or influenced by architecture of the past; the choice is theirs.

"Our challenge celebrates the work of one of Yorkshire’s most respected sons and aims to encourage creativity and career aspirations. The Trust is passionate about helping young people through education and plans to set more design challenges for schools in the future.”

Tony Barton, chairman of Donald Insall Associates, commented: “We are specialist conservation architects and are proud to have worked on some of John Carr’s magnificent buildings, including Wentworth Woodhouse’s roof, pavilions and Camellia House.

“Wouldn’t it be marvellous if this project inspires only one young person to train as a conservation architect, who works with us in the future, especially on a John Carr building, and follow in the footsteps of our brilliant trainee architects, Emma Chrystie-Lowe and Ryan Farrell, who produced the drawings for the John Carr 300 celebration?”

Wentworth Woodhouse website

Images: WWPT


Anonymous,  April 18, 2023 at 6:08 PM  

Fantastic news for Rotherham!!

Anonymous,  April 24, 2023 at 5:11 PM  

When I first read that the house was to be renovated and the swimming pool demolished I feared the worst...

Anonymous,  May 6, 2023 at 7:29 AM  

As a retired cotton bobbin threader from Fazakerley, I would like to put on record how thoroughly I enjoyed my recent coach trip to Wentworth Woodhouse and the adjacent garden centre. Our trip round the splendid old house was very interesting and the cherry on the cake was to catch a glimpse of that wonderful Hugh Grant emptying bins near the car park. The day was rounded off with a cream tea at the garden centre which I enjoyed immensely notwithstanding the fact that it cost me three weeks' pension.

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