Thursday, 9 April 2015

To the manor born


Who lives in a house like this?


Hmm, a girl can but dream.

This house has two faces; the earlier Baroque west front...


and the slightly later Palladian east front.


Yes. this is all one house; Wentworth Woodhouse, a hidden gem in South Yorkshire with a long and chequered history. It's the largest privately-owned house in the country. 

There's an article here which will give you some sense of its history and current situation, and I can recommend the book Black Diamonds; The Rise and Fall of an English Dynasty, by Catherine Bailey, about the Fitzwilliam family and the house.

But I'll let the pictures do the talking.






Actually, this pushmi-pullyu of a house has another structure nestling between the two fronts; the remains of the earlier 1630s house built for Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, who was beheaded at Tower Hill in 1641. Charles I couldn't save his right-hand man, and later, after the Civil War, he was also unable to save himself.

Strafford is buried in the churchyard at Wentworth, the lovely estate village.


It wasn't all history and architecture, honestly!




 

That's the Rockingham Mausoleum looking hazy in the distance.


 



In 1946, the Labour Minister of Fuel and Power, Manny Shinwell, ordered open cast mining to access the seam of coal running underneath Wentworth Woodhouse. 


The mining reached almost up to the house itself, stopping where the grass ends now, destroying the drive, lawns, woodland and formal gardens, and leaving 50ft of debris and rubble piled in front of the windows of the house.

Class warfare? Probably. Our tour guide quoted Shinwell as saying he hoped the house fell into the hole left by the mining. It didn't, but it has suffered from subsidence and there has been an ongoing attempt to gain compensation from the government to pay to stabilise the affected parts of the house.


The house has only recently been opened up for tours of the interior. Photography is not allowed inside, for which you are probably most grateful...


A grand house deserves vintage brocade, bold colours, and a wild print, don't you think?


1950s Marie Moore brocade jacket - Second to None
Lurex vest top - gift from Sara
Palazzo pants, jewellery, shoes and sunglasses - charity shopped

I do like a stately home, although mine is anything but! 


 But then I don't have to deal with the estimated £42 million repair bill facing the owner of Wentworth Woodhouse. A visit will do me just fine. 

xxxx

39 comments:

Suzanne Carillo said...

Palazzo pants! It looks like it is quite warm there. Lucky you!

I always enjoyed visiting large estates when I lived there. So much history to enjoy.

I know you won't care one bit but you are looking rather on trend in those wide floral pants and tank.

bisous
Suzanne

Vix said...

I'm loving Wentworth Woodhouse and what a relief it didn't disappear down a mine shaft, no thanks to grumpy pants Manny Shinwell.
The mausoleum is particularly splendid.
A great day for frolicking around in big, grand open spaces as the gang demonstrate perfectly.
The palazzo pants look wonderful with the stripes and Second To None jacket. Doesn't it feel good to feel the sun on our skin again?
Love you! xxxxx

PinkCheetahVintage said...

You look amazing in those pants! Fun to vista grand houses, but all I ever think is how much maintenance it would take to live their ughhhh :(
Gorgeous pics!

Melanie said...

Ah yes, I've always favoured choosing which house-front to emerge from on any given day, depending on my mood(?)! A spectacular property. The architecture over there stuns me every time. Thanks for these photos.
You are dressed appropriately for such a stately visit - love that lurex top and the humungous-legged palazzo pants. And dressed appropriately for your own family estate.

Fiona said...

What a lovely day to traipse around a stately home and a very imposing one at that. Love your snap of the mausoleum in haze. Can't imagine how the house and gardens must have looked during the mining, but times were very hard just after the war which goes some way to explain it I suppose. Loving the palazzo pants...I bet you were the grooviest visitor there.xx

thorne garnet said...

I've always wanted a little country home. What a crazy mad place. SO glad it didn't fall into the mine.

Lesley Extance said...

Love the pants and as always a interesting post ! love the pictures with you and your children, best wishes Curtise x

Diane said...

You look very "To the Manor Born". It is a little hidden gem and its brilliant that we can now get to have a look round it after so many years of just walking past! xxxx

kaffesoester said...

The brocade jacket is fabulous! If you ever get tired of it, sell it to me please! It's just the right emerald green, with shorter length sleeves so I can wear it with some of my long gloves on colder days. I also have the perfect dresses to go with it, one green jersey, one teal silk (cocktail dress), a black lurex, a floor length gold lame as well as a light blue 1960s vintage lurex knit with pleats!

The house which looks more like a castle is fantastic. It's awful to think of how anyone can hope for it's destruction, and great that it survived. The detailed ornamentation everywhere is stunning. The baroque facade is my favourite. The colour is beautiful and the symmetri and overall harmony is so pleasing to look at. What a great post Curtise, thank you!

mondoagogo said...

I do love a stately home (at least in a museum/sightseeing sense), but it's funny how the story about the mining has parallels with fracking under peoples' houses nowadays.

That filigree necklace is rather pretty!

diaryofapennypincher said...

What a fabulous place for a sunny family day out, it's on my to-visit list after seeing it on tv a while back. You look divine in your vintage summer wardrobe, those palazzo pants are stunning!

Kezzie said...

oOoh, I SAY! You WERE living it up there! WHat a grand house to visit! The weather looked none too shabby either!
Hello mad Stalker (you made me giggle with that comment!!) rather loving your brocade and filigree necklace WHAT a killer combination, very appropriate for visting your rich cousins' country pad! ;-)
x

Natalia Lialina said...

There is definitely something noble about you, Curtise - such a grand place would suit that side of you for sure! Keep on dreamin' I'd say. :) I, as always, enjoy touring your beautiful country with you, and adore the photos of your family. Claudia is such a pretty young lady - how fast she grew!! I can see you in her now. Love the photo of the shadow family!!!

Your palazzo trousers are fantastic - gorgeous colors and pattern! Love how you style it, so rich and whimsical. Love that necklace, rings and rainbow-ish bracelet, and the brocade jacket is so beautiful and classy. Happy Spring! xxxx

Angels have Red Hair said...

Wow …that's privately owned? Someone lives in it? And they're not the Queen?? I'd sure hate to have to do the dusting ;0)

Laurie Duncan said...

Beautiful architecture! And I love those palazzo pants, you can really carry them off! :)

Amber of Butane Anvil said...

Lovely house and landscape but I am most digging those stately palazzo pants and your perfect mix with stripes and bangle. :) And green brocade and beautiful blue manicure!

I'd tour anywhere with you but I'd just be all rapt ogling your outfit and not listening very well, lol. xoxo

Goody said...

I do wonder how they managed such a large home without intercoms. I have a difficult time imagining anyone loudly bellowing for their children to get in bed, etc. Somehow I just can't believe the bells/pulley things of old would cut it at such a large place.

Great that you were able to get the children to spend an afternoon roaming an old estate (at least they appear to be enjoying themselves).

Whoa, those are some pants! Love them.

Sue said...

Oh wow and thanks for the glorious tour and commentary of such a grand home. Imagine dragging the vacuum cleaner around that? I bet it was amazing inside too. Thank god it didn't fall into the hole left behind, that would have been terrible. PS: your outfit is stunning, I can feel summer getting closer for you.

Mim said...

£42 million to repair it?! I can't even imagine having that much money to start with. And how much must it cost to heat? Still, it'd certainly have plenty of storage space for charity shop bargains ;-)

Ulla-Marie Nilsson said...

Such perfect mix of patterns! Love love love the Palazzo pants.

Winter Moon said...

What a gorgeous house and grounds.

A perfect family outing!

Have a wonderful weekend, Curtise xx

Mother of Reinvention said...

What a beautiful house. I would love to have a nose about inside. Wouldn't like their heating bills though. I used to live in a much smaller crumbling pile (long story). There were about fifteen of us and we could lose each other. The windows were so bad in my bedroom that when the wind blew up the valley my curtains would be horizontal. Used to have to go to bed fully clothed, wearing fleeces and a thermal hat, inside a 4-seasons sleeping bag under the quilt. They sometimes had wedding s downstairs and we would get drunk guests trying to find somewhere to *ahem* get to know each other a lot better in our rooms. I am completely in love with your outfit. The palazzo pants especially. the fabric is beautiful. Hope you all had a great day. xxxx

Olga Rani said...

Such an impressive house indeed deserves that any visitor would be dressed as much impressive. I think palazzo pants are just the right choice for strolling inside such a house, especially such beautiful as yours. And what a beautiful jacket: texture, colour! Needless to say that I simply love the necklace.

Bobbi said...

What a beautiful estate! I can't imagine living in a place that size. Looks like you had a fun day.
Love the palazzo pants! Very cool.

beate grigutsch said...

beautiful place!! and what else you could wear then palazzo pants to visit that awesome palace ;-)
but your jacket is not brocade (brocade has metal in it) its "cloqué" :-) but anyway - the thing is very pretty in my fav green!!
and always love to see your adorable kids! xxxxxx

Carina Rosenholm said...

The pants !!Pure love !
and the house - wow ! but im kind happy with my tiny little cottage in the woods - just the thougt about kleening that big ass house gets me tired..
xxx

Miss Magpie said...

Didn't they recently show an Antiques Roadshow from there?

I love your green jacket very, very much.

Joni James said...

Your kids are growing like weeds!!
Can you imagine the cleaning bill here?

Mrs Bertimus said...

You would be most befitting living in that modest abode.
Your outfit is resplendent x

Beth Waltz said...

You wear the palazzo pants with pazzaz, dear Curtise, and your borcade jacket is up for the assignment of stately house attire. Surely one wouldn't feel welcome wearing fleece...

Once upon a time my brother worked with Lord X, a nice fellow who invited the Yank home for the hols. Brother met his mum, the Countess, seated in the 'new' kitchens of 189x, wearing galoshes, a sweater over her housecoat, and a felt hat. She remarked that HM used two bars on the electric while she made do with one.

He was given a room in the 'old tower' because all Yanks would insist on the four-poster bed, etc. That night when he went to use the loo, he discovered that the reason Lord X had pointed out the taxidermy in the hall was that it served as a locater for one's room. He spent the rest of his visit in the 'new' 19th C wing, which included plumbing. And, yes, he wore his topcoat to bed. Be it ever so humble...there's nothing like mod cons!

señora Allnut said...

green brocade and palazzo pants never looked so Fabulous!!, I'm loving them and loving you too!!, gorgeous!
And such a massive house, it's amazing and a little bit overwhelming!, when I see this kind of huge old palaces and houses, I always think about the hundreds of servants working there for the welfare of a single family!. But now we can enjoy the building as visitors and that's better!
besos

Jazzy Jack said...

You have arms...and shoulders! Who knew! ;-D
Love that green jacket. Sooo cool on you. Of course the pants are OK I guess :-)
Gorgeous house (!) tour.
Thanks. xo Jazzy Jack

Shelley said...

What a spectacular property - such a shame about the destruction caused by the mining. I'd love a good snoop around the inside.

The brocade and big pants were the perfect pairing. I love Palazzo pants!

Emma Kate at Paint and Style said...

I'm certainly NOT grateful for the lack of interior pics! You'll just have to give us a very detailed description next time!
The house looks amazing. Your little green jacket is perfect. xxxx

freckleface said...

Still privately owned? That is quite incredible in this day and age. It may not be socialist, but I actually like it when a family is able to stay in the ancestral home for generation after generation, especially when we get to have a sneaky peek! Mind you, it wouldn't do for me. So big and so expensive to keep up. I love you in those palazzo pants, most fitting for visiting a building which is practically a palazzo! Your jewels are rather impressive too. Looks like you had a lovely sunny day for it. Xxxxx

Sheila said...

That necklace is awesome! Such cool pics.

Melanie said...

I saw this place on the telly the other day, it does look incredible so thank you for sharing xxx

Trees said...

This place looks incredible - I'm sad you couldn't take photos from the inside. But the government let mining happen UNDER THE BUILDING - Whaatt???? I'm in shock! Looks like you had a wonderful day out and you look amazing as always xo

Catherine said...

what is better? your pants or the house!? both i think but golly the exterior of the house looks very much like the one they used to film Sense and Sensibility. the most recent BBC version not that other one with Hugh Grant...

Such a big house! and such a bizarre way to annoy the owners. mining right up to the front garden... you'd think post war Britain they wouldn't have had the money for such a venture!