Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Wentworth Woodhouse and a winter wardrobe wonder


This magnificent building is Wentworth Woodhouse and it boasts the longest facade of any English country house. I had trouble getting a picture that would fit it all in! It is the largest privately owned house in Europe, located in South Yorkshire and a couple of weekends ago I went, along with my friend, on a couple of guided tours of it's interior.


The current house at Wentworth is Georgian, built by the Marquis of Rockingham, and was one of the most expensive houses ever built. It incorporated part of a 1630's manor house which was added to in both the early and late eighteenth century by various family members.


The house has been owned by three main families, the Wentworth's, the Marquis of Rockingham and then from 1782 until 1989 the Fitzwilliams. More about the family histories can be found on the Wentworth website. The Fitzwilliams time at Wentworth is written about in a work of fiction called Black Diamonds by Catherine Bailey. I read it a few years ago and really enjoyed it but I wish I had re-read it so that it had been fresh in my head.

After the Fitzwilliams the house was then bought by a businessman who had it for ten years and was then sold to the current family who are in the process of restoring the house.


The house had been closed to the public for a long time but it is now open for guided tours. We managed to find a day where we could book a combination of tours which allowed us to see all of the rooms which are now open. They only make up a small proportion of the rooms at Wentworth but more tours are in the process of being added. Our tour guide had worked on the Estate as a carpenter since he was young so the tour felt very personal, not just like a recitation of a guide book.


Unfortunately photography is not allowed inside the house which is such a shame as there were some amazingly grand rooms. Behind these pillars is a two storey marble hall with a gallery running round it and a huge fireplace and stunning floor. We saw a dining room which had green hand painted wallpaper containing arsenic for the pigment. We went in a room named the Long Gallery whose sole purpose was to provide a long room in which to walk if the weather was too horrid to exercise outside. It really was impressive. Some of the rooms are still a work in progress and some do not yet have their furniture or paintings. It didn't detract from the fascination I felt catching glimpse of this lovely old house.

My friend had been on one of the tours before and she had warned me to dress warmly as there is no heating in much of the house. Our noses were freezing by the end of the tours! I figured that I needed an outfit that consisted of knitwear, layers and a lined skirt. I wanted to reflect the cold weather, in fact, that evening it snowed loads, and this is what I came up with.









Fair Isle Tam - knitted by a wonderful friend
Cardigan - Marks and Spencer
Brooch - vintage from a charity shop
Mitts - knitted by me from a 1950's pattern
Welsh Tapestry handbag - vintage, gift from my lovely friend
Alpine skirt - Lindybop
Shoes - Clarks many years ago

Apart from my nose I was pretty warm! The tam is knitted from a modern pattern but it is very similar to the ones that were common in the 1940's. I love the print on the Lindybop skirt, so perfectly wintry. It was my first purchase from Lindybop and I was pleasantly surprised at the quality, it is fully lined and has fabric covered buttons. I don't think it is available now but a lovely dress in the same print is. I was very happy that my handbag tied in as I adore it. I squealed when I saw it in the shop and my friend kindly bought it for me even though it was some way in advance of my birthday!

If you like big old houses and fancy a day out I can recommend Wentworth. If you are feeling flush you could buy it as it is currently for sale for about £8 million! Sadly, I don't think they are open to cheeky offers!

26 comments:

  1. It's a lovely house, but maintaining it must be a nightmare. Can you imagine the heating bill if you actually wanted to keep it warm? I suppose that wasn't such a problem when it was owned by mineowners, they could just get truckloads of coal delivered.

    I love your outfit - the way the cardi and bag match is fab.

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    1. I can not imagine how much it must have and will cost to heat and maintain! I do like a bit of matchy matchy!

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  2. I'm envious of your visit, having also read the 'Black Diamonds' book - it certainly has a fascinating past.

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    1. If you get a chance I would pay a visit!

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  3. Love your skirt!!! You look lovely, great outfit!

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  4. you look utterly adorable and what a gray house. PG Wodehouse is a favorite author of mine so I love the name Wodehouse

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  5. Wooow this place looks amazing! And 8 mil doesn't seem too steep for something of that scale... I bet the heating bills would be prohibitive though! Love your outfit, seems like the perfect choice for the day :)

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    1. It has been sold since I wrote this to a local company who are going to keep up the restoration!

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  6. That skirt is super gorgeous! I love both the dress and skirt that LB produced in that delightful wintertime pattern, but alas, both were sold out in my size by the time I caught wind of them. I'm hoping that perhaps I can snag a deadstock or gently used one (or either) on eBay one day.

    This looks like such a majestically elegant home. Thank you for giving us a tour of the outside. Shame indeed that they don't allow photos. I'm sure its even more breathtaking inside!

    ♥ Jessica

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    1. It was amazing inside even though the restoration is not yet complete. I do love this skirt, I hope that you manage to find it or the dress in your size.

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  7. What a lovely day out, I bet it was fascinating to see what was behind that very long facade and maybe if I'd won the recent big lottery win I might have offered to buy it for you!
    Ahhh, that bag! I'm a big lover of Welsh tapestry and have a couple of bags myself but have never come across one that just has a panel down the middle. xx

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    1. I would happily have shared it with fellow old house lovers if I could have bought it! Welsh tapestry is just marvellous isn't it?! So many variations in patterns and colour.

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  8. Gosh I really wish I could just take a Sunday and go to such a fantastic Estate, your so lucky to be so close to such amazing History.

    And your outfit for this wonderful outing, is simply lovely! I really adore that skirt from Lindy bop, what a wonderful pattern.

    Now I'm off to check out the houses website.

    Liz :)

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    1. My friend lives 20min away from the house so we often go that way when I go and visit her. I did enjoy this outfit!

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  9. I've just realised that I need a Long Gallery.

    The house looks amazing and I love the outfit you put together. And Welsh Tapestry! Fabulous.

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    1. Thanks Tanith! It rains so much here a Long Gallery would be most useful!

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  10. Love your outfit! I'm having a flashback to childhood - I'm pretty sure my parents dragged me and my younger brother to Wentworth. Very impressive place, perfect backdrop for your outfit photos! x

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    1. How brilliant that you have been there. It is worth another trip!

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  11. That looks amazing! Love that Lindy Bop skirt, I had my eye on the dress at Christmas but it sold out!

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    1. Thanks Gemma. I do love the print on this skirt!

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  12. This place looks beautiful!! cute outfit!

    lifeisashoe

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  13. What a fabulous place, I do love a good wander around a stately home! Your outfit is wonderful too, that skirt is just spectacular and your matching cardy and bag are meant for each other! x

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    1. Thanks very much Wendy. I am determined to do more stately home visiting this year!

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