Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
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Ordnance survey map of WENTWORTH WOODHOUSE
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Rotherham (Metropolitan Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SK 39608 97659



4/110 Wentworth Woodhouse

29.4.52 GV I

Country mansion, now college of further education and partly unoccupied. C17 core; remodelled from c1724-28 to c1734 to form west front; east front commenced immediately and largely completed in the next two decades; service wings heightened late C18.

Remodelled for Thomas Watson Wentworth perhaps by William Etty (Allan). East front commenced by Ralph Tunnicliffe (d.1736); scheme revised and completed by Henry Flitcroft who continued on interiors for Charles Wentworth, 2nd Marquis of Rockingham. John Carr worked for the 2nd Marquis prior to heightening the service wings for William Wentworth Fitzwilliam, the 4th Earl. C17: some walling of tooled sandstone and brick in English bond. West front: brick in Flemish bond, ashlar sandstone central feature and dressings; lead and copper roofs. East front: ashlar, rear walls brick; slate roofs. Both elevations symmetrical, their axes offset. Baroque style west facade conceals irregular plan adapted from C17 house. Symmetry of Palladian east front carried through to some of the internal planning with principal suite of rooms arranged 'en enfilade'.

West front: 2-storey central part, single-storey wings, half-basement throughout. 4:9:4 bays, central part recessed, central feature breaking forward. Rusticated quoins. Sashes with glazing bars. Central 3-bay feature with 4 giant Corinthian pilasters rising from rusticated basement. Concave door surround with pilasters in the curve, the outer ones garlanded; bird carved on frieze; cartouche above. Flanking windows with shaped pediments. Venetian window to 1st floor; flanking sashes have aprons carved with trophies and carved keystones. Frieze with serpents and griffins interrupted by heraldic device which impinges on window below. Carved modillions to cornice and single-bay open pediment. Parapet with urns and statue. Remaining bays with rusticated, arched, surrounds to basement windows and architraves with projecting voussoirs to ground floor. Bays 4 and 14 have curved Venetian windows, that to bay 4 with external steps. Inner returns of wings have elaborate architraves to doorways (engraving 1728) now windows. Dentilled 1st-floor band to central part, 1st-floor windows in architraves. Modillioned cornice, parapet with ashlar panels infilled with brick. Quoined and corniced stacks rise from wings.

East front: 2 and 3 storeys. 49 bays, fully articulated. Balustraded throughout. 19-bay central block has rusticated ground floor. Central 9-bay part taller and breaking forward with steps flanking vast hexastyle portico. Corinthian columns rise from piano nobile; frieze bears motto 'MEA GLORIA FIDES'; arms in tympanum; statues to apex and balustrade. Pilastered doorway within portico has fanlight and scrolled pediment; flanking windows with broken pediments formerly with busts. Other 1st- floor windows have alternating segmental and triangular pediments. Upper windows with sill band and consoled cornices. Underside of portico coffered. Service wings: 3 storeys, 3:5:3 bays. 3-bay pediment on giant Doric columns. Moulded string to 2nd floor. Quadrants link wings to end pavilions: Gibbs surrounds to lower floors. Pavilions with cornices beneath upper stage; clock on north pavilion; wind indicator on south; urns to corners; domed roofs with lanterns and weathervanes.

Interior: principal rooms of central block retain decorative schemes of magnificent quality. Many rooms designed by Henry Flitcroft and executed by the finest craftsmen of the day. Tuscan-pillared entrance hall with Neo-Classical statues. Domestic suite to north: Painted Drawing Room with walls stretched with canvasses by Auguste de Clermont; the Low Drawing Room with coved niches carved in the manner of Grinling Gibbons. Chapel with C17 carved entrance: box pews; Ionic columns to gallery; Venetian west window. Imperial staircase by John Carr in Adam style. Marble Saloon: scagiola columns, balcony, pilasters above; ceiling in Jonesian style. Niches with mid C18 statuary; panels by James Stuart; overmantels by John Gibson (1821). To the south a sumptuous suite of rooms with richly gilded coffering to the ceiling of the Van Dyck Room and extravagant stuccoed panels in Whistlejacket Room. Suite of rooms to north of Marble Saloon of similar quality, 2 fireplaces by Fisher of York (1768). Statuary Room: busts by Chantrey, Greek goddesses on pedestals attributed to Nollekens. Rooms of west front with Rococo motifs notably doorheads in entrance hall. Some rooms retained from the C17 house: Old Hall with painted panelling and round-arched arcades. Other C17 rooms refitted: Long Gallery, remodelled by Flitcroft, columned screen and sparing Rococo decoration to ceiling. To the north a suite of rooms named Clifford's Lodgings rebuilt by Carr c1762: room with pine panelling and marble fireplace with multicoloured inlay. The whole decorative scheme and many other features of note are described at length elsewhere.

Interesting appendages to main structure include bridge constructed from the south pavilion to higher level gardens of west front and the small octagonal kitchen to rear of north pavilion.

J. Allan, 'Wentworth Woodhouse', Archaeological Journal, vol 137, 1980, pp393-96.

H. Colvin, Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840, 1978, p311.

Country Life: Mar 31, 1906. Sept 20 and Sept 27, Oct 4 and Oct 11, 1924. Sept 8, 1934. Dec 27 1956. Nov 1, 1962.

Tony Davis, Wentworth Woodhouse Visitors' Guide, 1982 ed.

J. Harris, 'Wentworth Woodhouse', Archaeological Journal, vol 125, 1968, pp321-27.

C. Hussey, English Country Houses: Early Georgian 1715-1760, 1955, pp147-54.

N. Pevsner, B.O.E. Yorkshire West Riding, 1967 ed, pp539-44.

Engravings of house in York Minster Library, Topographical Prints, Wentworth.

Listing NGR: SK3934397852


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Colvin, H M, A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840, (1978), 311
Davis, T, Wentworth Woodhouse Visitors Guide, (1982)
Hussey, C, English Country Houses Early Georgian 1715-1760, (1955), 147-54
Pevsner, N, Radcliffe, E, The Buildings of England: Yorkshire: The West Riding, (1967)
'Country Life' in 11 October, (1924)
'Country Life' in 27 December, (1956)
'Country Life' in 4 October, (1924)
'Country Life' in 8 September, (1934)
'Archaeological Journal' in Archaeological Journal, , Vol. 125, (1968), 321-27
'Archaeological Journal' in Archaeological Journal, , Vol. 137, (1980), 393-96
'Country Life' in 20 September, (1924)
'Country Life' in 1 November, (1962)
'Country Life' in 27 September, (1924)
'Country Life' in 31 March, (1906)
Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England, Part 37 South Yorkshire,


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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