22 Aug 2012

Down the lane: the little village and the Big House

Wentworth Village (where I took photos of the herd of cattle and posted on the blog a few weeks ago) has some unusual buildings that have been converted into private homes such as the windmill above, sometime known as the Saxon Tower.

The little estate village to the Big House, Wentworth Woodhouses, once owned by the Fitzwilliam dynasty, is still linked to its historical past with this industrial and mining family.  Many of the houses still have garden gates painted in the uniform green of the former owners.
The Big House is now owned by a private individual as the Fitzwilliam heritage died out with no heirs who could afford to maintain what is, in fact, the largest country house in England with the longest frontage of any in Europe.

Much of the land around the house was destroyed by open-cast mining after the Second World War when the government policy of the day was to take over privately-owned mines, but today the land is gradually being improved and settling back into rural and leisure use and the village is one of the best kept in the area.

Here are some more views of part of the village from the back lanes.

The spire of the present parish church, Holy Trinity, can be seen from all directions.

Some of the allotments from one of the back lanes.

The former Methodist Chapel, which is now a private residence.

A pretty cottage garden.

There's a bistro in the main street which was once the busy blacksmith's shop.  Now the small forge in the Builder's Yard creates ornamental items since times have changed!  (For example, the 18th century stable block on the estate had room for 84 horses for riding and driving coaches and carriages with a large riding school attached).  

The beacon, like many others, was set up for the millennium celebrations.

There's a family-owned garden centre which was part of the formal gardens of the Big House.It's a popular place to visit for purchasing plants with many other features and I will write about this another time.

You can see the old wall which enclosed this area of the estate.


  1. really big and really beautiful. i see a green pump in one of the garden shots that i really like. beautiful gardens. on a funny ha ha note, i read see the Spirit of present parish church and went what? read it again and saw spire... senior moments are so fun

  2. I had heard of Wentworth, though not sure why as I do not think I had ever seen any photos before today, thanks for the tour.

  3. What an intriguing book you could make from your photos and the history you share.

  4. I'm crazy about the new header today...old ruins combined with modern festival tents...such a fun contrast.

  5. Not only did I love these super photos of yours but I also enjoyed the history you put in your post. Great to read, thank you.

  6. p.s. meant to mention what a fantastic header photo too.

  7. Well, I had to go back and find the green pump in one of the allotments after reading Sandra's comments and laughed at the 'spirit' of!:>) I like the pump too and sometimes I totally mess up a word and think, "What in the world?!" Then I go back and reread and do the "Ahhh, duh!" moment.

    My mouth literally dropped open at the sight of that house. I checked and it was open. The huge estates never cease to amaze me. I can't even wrap my head around living in the servants' quarters, you know? Astonishing, always.
    Beautiful too.
    I too love how you tell us the history of what we are seeing. It makes it all so interesting and even more incredible. I always feel like I'm taking a little escape trip when I visit here. Feeling blue? Go for a spin at Tapestry!;>)

    Your header is esp. cool too with the combination of old and new.