The first lecture of the winter season of the North Notts Association of National Trust Members took place at The Crossing in Worksop on Wednesday 16th October. Members welcomed Mr Ian Taylor to tell them about the exciting plans in progress, for the repair and renovation of one of the best-known iconic houses in our area, known as Wentworth Woodhouse.
This property has had a very chequered history after being built originally in 1725 by Thomas Watson-Wentworth and ultimately owned and lived in by the Earls Fitzwilliam. It subsequently served as a young ladies college and was eventually sold off to private buyers and finally taken over by a charitable trust, the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust. The National Trust will be working in partnership with this trust and managing the visitor aspect amongst other matters.
Members were given lots of information about the future plans following a government grant of £7.6m in 2017, along with monies from other sources enabling the work to commence. Due to the extreme neglect and poor condition of the property this will take many years. The building is riddled with asbestos, dry rot, leaking roofs, settlement and general lack of regular maintenance but it will rise from the ashes. The trust aims to preserve the grounds and house on behalf of the nation, finding sympathetic and sustainable uses for all parts of the property whether in use presently or not and, of course, to raise funds.
A local firm of builders and all related trades are working on the house and the entire property is presently covered in scaffolding and will remain so for many months to come. However, various tours of the house are still being conducted and more information can be found on the very informative website. The association will be endeavouring to arrange another tour next year for members.
The meeting on Wednesday 11th December (changed to the second Wednesday because of proximity of Christmas) will host Laura Binns, who will tell everyone about archaeological excavations at Wingerworth.
Meetings are at The Crossing, Newcastle Street, Worksop S80 2AT and start at 7.00pm for coffee and biscuits. The talks start at 7.30pm. Visitors are welcome, as are new members, and the only criteria is that you are a member of the National Trust. Entry is £3.00 for association members and £4.00 for visitors and to become a member of the association it will cost £4.50 single and £6.00 for a joint membership. More information is available online at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/north-nottingham-association or you can email NthNottsNTAssoc@gmail.com or follow the group on Twitter, @NthNottsNTAssoc.