Wentworth Castle

Wentworth Castle is a grade I listed country house in the Romanesque Style, the former seat of the Earls of Stafford, at Stainborough, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, now home to "Northern College of Community  & Residential education".

Wentworth is a grade I listed country house in the Romanesque Style, the former seat of the Earls of Stafford, at Stainborough, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, now home to “Northern College of Community & Residential education”.

WENTWORTH CASTLE, is a grade I listed country house in the architectural Style of the Romanesque, and the former seat of the Earls of Stafford, at Stainborough, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, now home to “Northern College of Community  & Residential education”. 

An older house existed on the estate, then called Stainborough, when it was purchased by Baron Raby (later Earl of Strafford), in 1711, when It was still called Stainborough.

The original name survives in the form of Stainborough Castle, a sham ruin constructed as a garden folly on the estate which has been in the care of the Wentworth Castle Heritage Trust since 2001 and is open to the public year round 7 days a week. The castle’s gardens were restored in the early 21st century, and are also open to visitors. 

Stainborough Castle, a sham ruin constructed as a garden folly on the estate which has been in the care of the Wentworth Castle Heritage Trust since 2001

Stainborough Castle, a sham ruin constructed as a garden folly on the estate which has been in the care of the Wentworth Castle Heritage Trust since 2001

My wife and I spent a lovely afternoon walking round the gardens on a nice sunny day in April 2015, a little early in the year for the spring blooms but never the less very enjoyable. Wentworth Castle Heritage Trust took the decision in 2005 to support the fragile structure further with a scaffold in order to prevent its total collapse. The Trust succeeded in raising the £3.7 million needed to restore the conservatory in 2011 and work began in 2012, with grants from English Heritage, the Country Houses Foundation, the Heritage Lottery fund and the European Development Fund. The Trust completed the restoration of its fragile Victorian glasshouse in October 2013, and what a wonderful job they did too, The restoration of the Gardens and Parkland is an ongoing project providing many different and interesting things to see in the future and well worth the visit. 
The garden area of Wentworth Castle and the row of Lime trees

The garden area of Wentworth Castle and the row of Lime trees

A formal garden arrangement at Wentworth Castle

A formal garden arrangement at Wentworth Castle

A formal garden arrangement at Wentworth Castle

A formal garden arrangement at Wentworth Castle

 
A folly  is a construction primarily for decoration, but either suggesting through its appearance some other purpose, or merely appearing to be so extravagance that transcends the normal range of garden ornaments or the class of building to which it belongs. 18th century English & French gardens often featured Roman temples, which symbolised classical virtues or ideals. Other 18th-century garden follies represented Chinese temples, Egyptian pyramids and Obelisks and ruined abbeys, representing different continents or historical eras particularly that of “Romanticism” and the “picturesque”. Sometimes they represented rustic villages, mills and cottages, to symbolise rural virtues. Many follies, particularly during famine, such as the Irish potato famine, were built as a form of relief, to provide employment for peasants and unemployed artisans.
Stainborough Castle, a sham ruin constructed as a garden folly on the estate which has been in the care of the Wentworth Castle Heritage Trust since 2001

Stainborough Castle, a sham ruin constructed as a garden folly on the estate which has been in the care of the Wentworth Castle Heritage Trust since 2001

Stainborough Castle, a sham ruin constructed as a garden folly on the estate which has been in the care of the Wentworth Castle Heritage Trust since 2001

Stainborough Castle, a sham ruin constructed as a garden folly on the estate which has been in the care of the Wentworth Castle Heritage Trust since 2001

Stainborough Castle, a sham ruin constructed as a garden folly on the estate which has been in the care of the Wentworth Castle Heritage Trust since 2001

Stainborough Castle, a sham ruin constructed as a garden folly on the estate which has been in the care of the Wentworth Castle Heritage Trust since 2001

Stainborough Castle, a sham ruin constructed as a garden folly on the estate which has been in the care of the Wentworth Castle Heritage Trust since 2001

Stainborough Castle, a sham ruin constructed as a garden folly on the estate which has been in the care of the Wentworth Castle Heritage Trust since 2001

As a general term “folly” is usually applied to smaller buildings with no practical purpose. But the term is ultimately subjective and a precise definition is probably impossible. The images below are of general views of the grounds ,Gardens and Meadows of Wentworth Castle a place well worth a visit.

The Lake area within the grounds and gardens of Wentworth Castle

The Lake area within the grounds and gardens of Wentworth Castle

The walled area within the grounds and gardens of Wentworth Castle

The walled area within the grounds and gardens of Wentworth Castle

The Pastures within the grounds and gardens of Wentworth Castle

The Pastures within the grounds and gardens of Wentworth Castle

The Pastures within the grounds and gardens of Wentworth Castle

The Pastures within the grounds and gardens of Wentworth Castle

The "OBELISK" within the grounds and gardens of Wentworth Castle

The “OBELISK” within the grounds and gardens of Wentworth Castle

The newly restored conservatory at "Wentworth Castle" Barnsley, south yorkshire.

The newly restored conservatory at “Wentworth Castle” Barnsley, south yorkshire.

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