Thursday 23 April 2015

The Wentworth Castle Rotunda

Recently I took advantage of the lovely weather to leave behind the noise and bustle of Gin Lane and head for Wentworth Castle, a recently restored property and deer park in Barnsley. I was on a mission to visit the deer park and Rotunda and I wasn't disappointed!

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.

And after!

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!


Jenny Woolf said...

Wonderful! although sometimes I think I prefer the romantic melancholy of - well, not a ruin perhaps, but crumbling picturesqueness!

Stephen Barker said...

This reminds me that I must visit Wentworth.

Unknown said...

I'm very happy that it was rebuilt and the top was put back on to keep it from being ruined . But I really enjoy the first picture more because if I was exploring it I would feel like I was uncovering it's secrets and inventing it's story.

Catherine Curzon said...

I know exactly what you mean; happily, the park still contains some crumbling corners!

Catherine Curzon said...

Oh you must, it's marvellous!

Catherine Curzon said...

I understand that; I'm glad it's back in tip-top condition but the ruin was oddly romantic.