Bringing Wentworth Castle Gardens back to life

Published : Fri 21st Sep

A unique opportunity to reach new audiences.

Wentworth Castle Gardens in South Yorkshire is a hidden gem that lies within an hour’s drive of 7 million people. The estate was in the care of Wentworth Castle Heritage Trust from 2001 when it underwent £20 million of investment to conserve important heritage assets, including restoring the Grade II listed Victorian conservatory and Rotunda Temple, and returning the parkland to deer park. Despite attracting tens of thousands of visitors a year, the castle gardens were forced to close in the spring of 2017 due to a funding crisis.  

Earlier this year, the National Trust entered into a partnership with Northern College (NC) and Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council (BMBC), to manage the estate and bring this magnificent estate back to its former glory. This one-of-a-kind partnership – something we’ve never done at the National Trust before – will use our national expertise in management heritage together with NC’s focus on education and learning and BMBC’s nationally recognised programmes of visitor and community engagement to create a landmark visitor attraction.

 A lot to offer

Wentworth Castle Gardens certainly has a lot to offer its visitors, with 63 acres of formal gardens, 500 acres of wider parkland and 16 listed structures, including Stainborough Castle, an 18th century folly. We want to bring the whole landscape and all the many components of the gardens and parkland fully into the visitor experience and pay barrier to create a much more valuable, compelling and repeatable visitor offer. We also believe that Wentworth Castle Gardens also offers us the opportunity to significantly grow our Land Outdoors and Nature agenda – our ambitious 10-year plan to nurse the natural environment back to health and reverse the alarming decline in wildlife as well as further invest in looking after the nation’s heritage.

 There’s so much to do here – but also much opportunity. We plan to re-configure the visitor journey to better reveal the views, significance and relationship between the house, gardens and parkland, encouraging visitors to enjoy, explore and be inspired by everything we have to offer here. We will also be focusing on the heritage significance of the estate. So, we’ll remove inappropriate modern additions that detract and distract, while also taking a prudent approach to future conservation projects, such as the walled gardens.

As well as all the physical assets here, we’re looking forward to working with NC and BMBC to develop a creative and exciting partnership that really engages the local community and brings considerable added value in terms of public benefit.

 Dream team

To help us achieve everything we plan to do at Wentworth Castle Gardens, we are looking for a General Manager and senior management team – including a Membership and Visitor Welcome Manager, Food and Beverage and Retail Manager, Partnerships and Participation Manager and Garden and Outdoors Manager – to bring our aims here to life.

 If you’re interested in finding out more about these very special opportunities, please click on the links below.