Wentworth Woodhouse and Wentworth Castle are two impressive estates situated just six miles apart, not far from Sheffield, and established out of a bitter family rivalry.
In this lecture, Dr Patrick Eyres examines how the family rivalry was both dynastic and political. Until the mid-1740s, the Wentworth Castle dynasty was superior in aristocratic rank and cultural display. It was once the Hanoverian monarchy was securely embedded, that the Whigs at Wentworth Woodhouse began to eclipse their Tory cousins in social status and estate embellishment.
The rivals are now united by the endeavours of charitable trusts to conserve for the public this magnificent legacy of competitive country house building and landscape gardening. The buildings, gardens and park of Wentworth Castle have been restored by the Wentworth Castle Heritage Trust and are now maintained by the National Trust. Meanwhile the grounds of Wentworth Woodhouse have been restored by the Fitzwilliam Wentworth Amenity Trust and the restoration of what is still one of the largest private houses in Europe is being undertaken by the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust.
Dr Patrick Eyres is director of the New Arcadian Press and has published extensively on the Georgian landscapes of the rival Wentworth Castle and Wentworth Woodhouse estates.
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