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Listed Building
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Statutory Address:

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

Barnsley (Metropolitan Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SE 31997 03182


STAINBOROUGH WENTWORTH CASTLE SE30SW 1/42 Wentworth Castle 25.2.52 GV I Country house now adult education college. North front incorporates 'The Cutler House' of 1670-2 for Sir Gervase Cutler II; east wing 1710-20 by Johann Bodt for Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford; south front c1760 by the 2nd Earl, William Wentworth,for himself under guidance of Charles Ross with carving by John Platt of Rotherham; C18 work executed by Strafford estate masons. C19 alterations and additions. Ashlar sandstone, lead roofs apart from c1670 house which has dressed sandstone and stone slates to front. c1670 double-pile house wrapped around by U-shaped range comprising Baroque- styled wing across east end with attached L-shaped Palladian-styled wing enclosing south and west sides. c1670 house: 3 storeys with basements and attics, 7 bays. Ashlar quoins, plinth with basement windows (bays, 6 and 7 still mullioned). Steps to single-storey porch having rusticated quoins, pulvinated frieze and cornice; doorway within has quoined architrave with keystone. Flanking 16-pane sashes with blocks to moulded sills and eared architraves, cornices linked by string course. Central lst-floor sash in doorcase with keyed architrave and scrolled pediment on plain corbels. 2nd floor: cross-windows with similar architraves and later casements. Eaves cornice with 3-bay pediment having architraved Diocletian window in tympanum. Hipped roof with 2 corniced ashlar stacks to front slope and similar stack to front-right corner. Later wing on right linked by 3-storey curtain wall. Attached east wing projects by 4 bays on left. East front: 3 storeys, 2 : 4 : 3 : 4 : 2 bays; end and central projections having ground-floor quoins and giant Corinthian pilasters dividing bays above. Central doorway with later double door and fanlight with radial glazing bars beneath archivolt with carved keystone , garlands and instruments in spandrels. Flanking 24-pane sashes have sills on doubled, baluster-shaped pilasters and architraves with consoled cornices. Other bays have later round-headed sashes in similar surrounds, the sills cut away. 1st floor: band. Central bays: aprons to large round-headed sashes with archivolts having head-carved keystones. Garter arms above central bay flanked by copious floral reliefs. Other bays: panelled aprons to 24-pane sashes in architraves with consoled segmental pediments, squat attic windows, some with unequally-hung 12-pane sashes, moulded sills to eared architraves. Entablature with dentilled and modillioned cornice and balustrade. 3 ashlar stacks set to rear above each 4-bay part. South front: 2 storeys, with basement, 1 : 3 : 5 : 3 : 1 bays, 3-bay parts recessed . Plinth, rusticated basement, central pediment on 6 giant Corinthian columns. Steps across central bays, round-arched openings. Recessed bays have sashes with glazing bars in reveals. bays 1 and 13 each with 16-pane sash in raised panel. Piano nobile: deep band; balustraded aprons and linking string course to sills of sashes with glazing bars in architraves with bay-leaf friezes and pediments. Bays 1 and 13 have Corinthian Venetian windows. Attic: 6-pane windows in architraves. Strafford griffin and restrained carving in pediment; entablature and balustrade as east front; similar stacks set to rear.

Interior: c1670 house: entrance hall has bolection-moulded fireplace with cornice and wooden Jacobean overmantel; matching door architrave on left has fire-insurance plaque; oak panelling with carved frieze. Stair hall: late C17-style wooden staircase with foliage scrolls and cherubs in the balustrade, acanthus-carved brackets to the newels. Front lst-floor room now subdivided has work of 1756 by Horace Walpole and Richard Bentley including chimneypiece with caryatids, moulded ceiling panels above rich frieze with cherubs. East wing: much of the sumptuous C18 decorative scheme survives. Marble-floored entrance hall: 4 Ionic columns and matching pilasters; bolection-moulded marble architraves to large 6-panel doors; enriched cornices to panelled ceiling, the centre panel depicting the Awakening of Aurora by Amigoni (or possibly by Angelica Kauffman (Humphrey, Short History, p9)), outer panels in the style of Clermont. Room to north with lions on marble chimneypiece, bay-leaf friezes to pedimented doorcases, panelled ceiling. End rooms of east front in Rococo style, that to south with pilasters flanking the fireplace, Strafford insignia in the capitals; modillioned cornice with corner shells and baskets of fruit, figure of Fame in centre panel; northern room has figure of Plenty. Italian staircase at north end of east front has wrought-iron balustrade to cantilevered stone staircase, pedimented doorcases and rich plasterwork panels by Artari and Bagutti with medallions of Fame and Perseus and the 1st Earl, 8 busts of Roman emperors set on the lst-floor cornice. Long gallery by James Gibbs, occupies full length of 1st floor and has marble-columned end screens and 2 fine chimneypieces each with paired columns and pediment with griffin in tympanum and 3 eagles over; iron fire-baskets with brass enrichment. Windows of central bays flanked by Corinthian pilasters; southern Venetian window treated as on exterior. South front: central ground-floor rooms linked by elliptical arches. Cantilevered staircase to rear with iron balustrade; arcaded screen to 1st floor. Some painted ceilings of note on 1st floor, some with geometric panelling, ceilings at east end lowered. Strafford suite: ornate architraves with relief drops; mirrored frieze to vault with rose-trellis decoration.

Seat of the Wentworth family, later the Vernon-Wentworths, until purchased by Barnsley Corporation in 1948. Became the Northern College of Adult Education in 1978. Described and illustrated at length elsewhere:

Country Life: April 18th 1903 and October 25th 1924.

J. Humphrey, Wentworth Castle, A Short History, 1982.

J. Humphrey, 'A Prospect of Stainborough', unpublished thesis, Sheffield University, 1982.

J. Lees-Milne, English Country Houses: Baroque 1685-1715, 1970, pp236-242.

N. Pevsner, B.O.E., 1967 ed, pp546-548.

Listing NGR: SE3199703182


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Humphrey, J , Wentworth Castle A Short History, (1982)
Milne, J L, English Country Houses Baroque 1685-1715, (1970), 236-242
Pevsner, N, Radcliffe, E, The Buildings of England: Yorkshire: The West Riding, (1967)
'Country Life' in 25 October, (1924)
'Country Life' in 18 April, (1903)
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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Date: 16 Apr 2003
Reference: IOE01/07466/06
Rights: Copyright IoE Paul Eggleston. Source Historic England Archive
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