Wentworth Castle Gardens is to close in Spring. The nationally significant gardens surround the grade one listed stately home near Barnsley. The heritage trust that operates the garden regrets the decision, stating that it has not been able to generate sufficient income to cover the costs.
The estate belonged to the Earls of Strafford. Wentworth Castle originally called Stainborough. It was developed through the 18th century, Horace Walpole singled out Wentworth Castle as a paragon for the perfect integration of the site, the landscape, even the harmony of the stone. A college now uses the house whist the 40 acres of formal gardens are open to the public. Highlights include; the avenues of trees, a castle folly (called Stainborough), a Victorian garden and the Union Jack garden. Colours are most vibrant between March and July. First the camellias, then early rhododendrons and then the azaleas come into bloom. There is colour all year round, whether it is the last hydrangea of the old season or the first snowdrop of the new year, whilst the beautiful architectural quality of the mature trees gives pleasure at any time of year.
The TV show Restoration brought the dilapidated state of the Victorian Conservatory to the nations attention in 2003 although it didn’t win, it triggered public attention. Fund raising followed to raise nearly £4 million pounds to restore it. The historic structure reopened ten years after the program as a result, Wentworth Castle Gardens now has a star attraction and a venue for events.
The trust is working with Barnsley council to manage the closure. Assurances state that every effort will be made to honour all existing weddings and celebratory events. The trustees hope to find a way of reopening the gardens in the future.
Visit while you still can!