Wentworth Castle and grounds is a grade 1 listed landscape first founded in 1708, when Thomas Wentworth purchased Stainborough Hall and set about remaking it to his own specifications, renaming it Wentworth Castle. When Thomas died, the estate passed to his son, William, who commissioned ever more fashionable renovations and saw the grounds fashionably restyled.
|The Rotunda, before restoration|
A gentle stroll through the deer park brings on to the unrestored Serpentine and the Rotunda, which began construction in 1739 and was completed three years later, although it had first been planned as far back as 1708. Modelled after an Ionic temple, Thomas had seen the Temple of Vesta at Tivoli during his grand tour and wanted to recreate something very similar at Wentworth.
The interior of the Rotunda is a single room where the family would hold dinner and entertainments whilst beneath ground another room would allow servants to prepare refreshments, ensuring that guests were kept fed and watered despite being away from the main house. Sadly, as the centuries passed the Rotunda fell into a state of acute disrepair and was at risk of demolition. Happily, £280,000 later, the Rotunda was fully restored in 2010.
The entire interior of the Rotunda was rebuilt, its black and white marble geometric floor relaid and a new roof put on top to protect it from the elements. It is a truly beautiful building set amid breathtaking grounds; I heartily recommend it for a day out!