Last Bank Holiday Monday saw a sad farewell to Wentworth Castle Gardens, near Barnsley, which is now shut to the public despite more than £20m spent in the last 15 years bring it back to glory following decades of neglect.
Wentworth Castle gardens and park are considered to be one of the finest landscapes in England, featuring the original 18th Century Baroque layout, a mock castle, a domed temple, Lady Lucy’s Walk (a beautiful avenue of limes, said to be haunted by young noblewoman not allowed to marry the gardener) and a stunning Victorian conservatory whch was featured in the Restoration TV programme and completely taken apart and restored.
Wentworth Castle Gardens are the only Grade I-Listed landscape in South Yorkshire. Founder Thomas Wentworth built the estate after a bitter dispute over the inheritance of the family seat at Wentworth Woodhouse seven miles away, which has just been given Government support to save it.
Too few visitors has been cited as the cause of closure, but last Monday, the gardens, tearoom, shop and famous glasshouse and castle folly were packed with those making the most of so many lesser-known gems and sights. A small choir sang a mournful song in one of the lovely gardens, clearly upset. It’s such a shame.
Anyway, the pictures, taken here on the last public day of Wentworth Castle Gardens, speak for themselves. Let’s hope something happens to open them again.