Wentworth Castle

Yorkshire, United Kingdom


In 1695, when Thomas Wentworth, third Baron Raby (later first Earl of Strafford), did not inherit Woodhouse estate, which he regarded as his ancestral home and birthright, he began a life-long undertaking to build a home surpassing in grandeur the house and grounds to which he was denied inheritance. In 1708, Wentworth purchased the Stainborough estate, changed its name to Wentworth Castle and began building formal gardens, terraces, ponds, waterfalls and follies. The house and grounds were commented on by luminaries from Wentworth’s day through the twentieth century. Historians and social critics from Horace Walpole to Jonathan Swift and Nicholas Pevsner all wrote about the splendor, taste and pride evident in the enterprise of creating Wentworth Castle.

How We Helped

In the early 1980s, WMF assisted with restoring the crenulated wall and four square turrets surrounding the notable folly known as the Gothic castle on the grounds. WMF also assisted with other conservation efforts to contribute to an improved stability for the monument.

Why It Matters

Found south-west of the main house, at the highest point on the property, the whimsical Gothic castle folly at Wentworth Castle provides a commanding view of the estate’s gardens. Built early in the Gothic Revival Period the castle is among the earliest examples of a folly in the United Kingdom.

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