Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Wentworth Woodhouse to be refurbished after £7m sale agreed

Wentworth Woodhouse Image copyright Savills
Image caption The house was put up for sale in May 2015 following the death of owner Clifford Newbold

A stately home which claims to be the "largest privately-owned house in Europe" will be refurbished following a £7m sale to a charity.

Grade-1 listed Wentworth Woodhouse has been sold to the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust (WWPT).

The sale of the mansion and gardens was funded by grants, including £3.5m from the National Heritage Memorial Fund.

The trust said "complex" negotiations to buy the property, near Rotherham, had taken more than a year.

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WWPT said it planned to spend around £42m restoring the property and associated land.

The government has given £7.6m towards the renovation, with the trust planning to raise the rest through grants and a public appeal.

The staterooms and gardens will be open to the public, with the ancillary parts of the building and grounds converted into a business centre and events space.

Image caption The staterooms in the main house will be open to the public

The chair of WWPT, Julie Kenny, said: "This is the culmination of five years very hard work and has been made possible by the support of many different charities, government bodies and individuals, including the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

"It is great news for the people of Rotherham and for everyone who cares about historic buildings."

Built by the Marquesses of Rockingham between 1725 and 1750, the front of the house is more than 600 feet (180m) long.

The main house has more than 200 rooms, with a run of state rooms behind the east front centring on the spectacular, double-height Marble Salon - considered to be one of the finest early 18th-century interiors in England.

Image copyright Dave Pickersgill
Image caption The house was put up for sale in 2015 following the death of its owner

It was bought in 1999 by architect Clifford Newbold, whose family sold it after he died in April 2015

A previous £8m deal to sell it to a Hong Kong-based investment company fell through in November 2015.

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