Britain’s largest private home – Wentworth Woodhouse – has been sold to a preservation trust for £7m and will now undergo a multi-million pound restoration.
The Grade I-listed Georgian mansion was built by the Marquesses of Rockingham between 1725 and 1750 near Rotherham in South Yorkshire. It has 365 rooms, five miles of corridors, a marble salon and the longest façade of any European country house, stretching 606 ft.
After the death of its architect owner, Clifford Newbold, in 2015 the house faced an uncertain future. The country estate was on the market for £8m last year (you can still see Savills’ listing) but a deal with a Hong Kong buyer fell through leading Britain’s chancellor Philip Hammond to award an urgent £7.6m grant towards essential maintenance on the property while it was still in private hands.
The complex sale took more than a year to negotiate, and the trust is expecting to spend around £42m restoring the property and lands.
‘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,’ said Julie Kenny, chair of the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust.
Wentworth Woodhouse will also have to earn its keep: some staterooms and gardens will be opened up to the public, with help from the National Trust, while the north wing will be used for events. The stables will be turned into offices and, according to The Guardian, between 15 and 18 holiday apartments will be created for short term lets.