A Christmas spell descends on Wentworth Woodhouse – thanks to its volunteer army

by | 25 November 2023 | Community Event, Community facility, Heritage, Rother

A magical new Christmas visitor experience is set to sprinkle an enchanted spell over Wentworth Woodhouse, Rotherham’s Grade I listed stately home… and it’s being created and staged entirely by staff and volunteers.

A Tale As Old As Time takes up the story after a fairytale spell has been cast on the house and its inhabitants.

The family festive event runs from Tuesday 28th November through to 29th December.

A ‘Christmas Crew’ have been hand-building props and scenery, producing haunting soundscapes and bringing foliage and twisting branches from the gardens to transform the mansion’s corridors and State Rooms into scenes akin to Sleeping Beauty’s castle.

In addition, from dusk til 9.00pm, the West Front Gardens beyond will be the scene of a half-kilometre outdoor Light Trail, with illuminated woodland grottos and pathways.

The indoor Christmas spectacular is a nod to the history of the mansion – from its lavish Christmas parties thrown by the Marquesses of Rockingham and the Earls Fitzwilliam, its slide into decline in the 20th century to its new life, thanks to a careful and creative multi-million pound regeneration by the Preservation Trust who took ownership in 2017.

Visitors can explore at their leisure and are tasked with finding a hidden trail of camellias which can break the spell cast on the house and restore life and laughter. The mansion is renowned for the camellia collection – one of the oldest in the Western world – in its recently-restored garden Camellia House.

The Light Trail, which runs most evenings from 28th November until 7th January, will feature fairylights galore, mirror balls in unexpected places and swirling ‘carpets’ of light. There are fairy doors and woodland creatures to seek and find and a spectacular light tunnel finale.

The mansion’s baroque West Front facade will be beautifully lit throughout the Christmas period and a festive steam train will be running on its lawns and rear drive.

Find out more at https://wentworthwoodhouse.org.uk/whats-on/.