Yesterday I visited these three fantastic Wentworth Gardens in South Yorkshire. I have a vague connection to them as I grew up in this area and visited Wentworth village on a regular basis. When my elder sister married she and her husband lived in Wentworth, so I have fond memories.
If you visit Yorkshire you really must add these to your itinerary. They too are all connected, being in the same family, albeit with some cousinly rivalry.
Stainborough Hall and estate was bought by Thomas Wentworth in 1708 in retaliation for not having inherited (as he expected to) Wentworth Woodhouse estate which is a few miles away. Wentworth Woodhouse was willed to a distant cousin instead.
Thomas re-named Stainborough Hall, Wentworth Castle.
Wentworth Castle Gardens near Barnsley have recently been re-opened to the public.
The estate now belongs to the National Trust.
60 Acres await your pleasure and exploration. Discover centuries of history in this spectacular South Yorkshire landscape. With formal gardens, monuments and a castle folly that isn’t quite what you may think.
For many years the gardens lay neglected and derelict but during the last couple of years they have undergone restoration by the Wentworth Castle Trust, who started to restore the grounds and opened the gardens to the public a few years ago.
Sadly they had to close them soon after as they could not raise enough funds to continue to maintain this extensive estate.
The National Trust bought the property and once again they are open to the public…and what a joy they are…
There is still quite a lot of work to do to bring the gardens back to their former glory but their original design is evident.
The borders at the entrance of the gardens abound with wildflowers including cornflowers, poppies, scabious and many more. The views from here, across the estate parklands to the rolling Yorkshire countryside beyond are breathtaking. In the distance you can see the temple that belongs to the estate.
There are various gardens to see, including one laid out in the design of the Union Jack, the azalea garden, fernery and woodland walks. Thomas Wentworth also built a castle folly which you can visit too.
Lady Mary’s walk is a feature that remains here and there is a monument that is dedicated to her.
William Wentworth (Thomas’s son) dedicated it to Lady Mary Wortley Montagu in 1750, in honour of Lady Mary’s efforts to inoculate children against smallpox. A symbol of Mary’s achievements, it is believed to be the oldest monument in the country dedicated to a living, non-royal woman.
Victorian Conservatory At Wentworth Castle
For me, the Victorian Conservatory is the draw, I have wanted to see it ever since Wentworth Castle Gardens were featured on a restoration programme on TV in 2011. The Conservatory was discovered under a jungle of overgrown trees and shrubs. After these were cleared the work began in earnest to rescue this stunning piece of architecture.
It was dismantled piece by iron piece, the metal frame was repaired, cleaned and painted. New glass has been installed, all the mechanisms that operate the roof lights and windows are now fully operational again.
The planting inside comes from the Americas, Australia and Asia. Hot-house plants, that in the heyday of this estate were sure signs of wealth and power.
Wentworth Castle Gardens,
Barnsley, S75 3EN
Wentworth Woodhouse Gardens
Wentworth Woodhouse is one of Yorkshire’s most dramatically beautiful stately homes and you can now take a tour of its gardens with the head gardener, Scott Jamieson.
He has cared for these gardens for many years on his own. Now he has a group of volunteers who are helping him restore them.
Wentworth Woodhouse is the Grade I-listed ancestral seat of the Fitzwilliam family near Rotherham. In its heyday it boasted 37 acres of immaculately landscaped gardens.
I used to come here as a child and seeing it after many years of being away from the area was a joy indeed. To see it from a gardeners point of view is an absolute inspiration.
The gardens are in the care of the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust, and there are plans to open them daily to the public.
The derelict Camellia House is to become the focal point of the gardens, with a cafe and visitor centre.
The mansion itself will also undergo extensive restoration over the next decade.
The surrounding parks at Wentworth Woodhouse were laid out by landscape designer Humphrey Repton. The house stood within extensive pleasure gardens and monuments that still exist today and include an 18th-century Ionic temple, the Camellia House, and a 15ft decorative urn called the Punch Bowl which dates from 1837.
Wentworth Garden Centre
The walled kitchen gardens and pleasure parks of the Wentworth estate are now the site of the Wentworth Garden centre. There was a garden centre here when I was a child, a small plant nursery. The garden centre has grown into what I think is one of the best ones I have ever been to.
Quality plants and garden products, a restaurant and several shops/outlets and a children’s play area.
Major renovation projects have been undertaken over several decades and the overgrown, neglected gardens have been transformed into what are a delight to visit.
Head Gardener Jonathan Frisby and his volunteer team have successfully brought them back to life with their care and dedication.
There is so much to discover around every corner including a bear pit, fallow deer, maze, rock garden, Italian gardens, ponds, pools, fountains and statuary. These beautiful gardens offer something to pique the interest of all the family.
The gardens are an important habitat to a huge array of wildlife including birds, mammals, insects, amphibians and plant life.
Garden Highlights Include:
- Rock Garden
- Italian Garden
- Wisteria Arch
- Sunken Garden
Places to Stay
The surrounding area is picturesque and well worth exploring, I have included a link below for you to peruse holiday cottages that will suit any budget or party size.
Rural areas such as thePeak District will take you onto the moors and into pretty villages. I hope you find somewhere to base your family and friends in order to enjoy this beautiful part of Yorkshire Places to Stay
Please share with friends and family if you have found this article on Wentworth Gardens of interest.
Add your views or questions to the comments box below, I enjoy hearing from my readers.