Nottinghamshire Environmental Association

by | 14 August 2023 | Environment, Heritage, Retford

The visits season for Nottinghamshire Environmental Association (NEA) started in May, with 30 members enjoying a visit to The Museum of Lincolnshire Life.

The first section dealt with household history, and many were amused to see articles in a museum which they could remember being used in their childhood homes!

Other sections included the Lincolnshire regiment and heavy machinery, such as traction engines. A number of these were constructed in the heavy engineering works in Gainsborough. Also of great interest was that the British Tank, first used in the Great War, was designed and built in Lincoln.

In June, 32 of the Association took a coach trip to Wentworth Woodhouse, north of Rotherham. Originally built for the Fitzwilliam family, building started in the early 1770s, it is reputed to have the longest frontage, at 600 ft, of any grand mansion in Europe.

It was built on the profits of coal mining in the area. The Fitzwilliams were, reputedly, one of the better mine owning families, establishing good relations with their workers.

The house was in the same family for some 250 years but by 2017, having had different uses and owners since the 1940s, it was dilapidated and in need of rescue. The Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust was set up and bought the house. Much work has been carried out but it is estimated to complete the full restoration will cost well over £100 million!

A fascinating tour took a small group of members to areas not normally open to the public and gave an idea of how the lower-level guests really had very few facilities in their supposed glamourous weekend visits to the House.

July saw a visit to Normanby Hall near Scunthorpe, while August is the Annual NEA Picnic and September is a visit to Renishaw Hall Winery. Non-members are welcome to attend.

For further information please contact Adrian Blackburn at or 07718 766873, or Paul Willcock at or 07581 531595.