Ha-Ha happy to help

wallRB'Volunteers and trainers restoring the East Ha Ha.
wallRB'Volunteers and trainers restoring the East Ha Ha.
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IT may be called the Ha-Ha wall – but restoring this historic feature on a South Yorkshire estate is no laughing matter!

Volunteers are being trained in the intricate art of dry stone wall building to repair the East Ha-Ha at Wentworth Castle at Stainborough, Barnsley.

The wall, which is set into a trench, was created in the mid-18th century to allow uninterrupted views of Wentworth’s landscape while at the same time preventing grazing animals straying onto the ornamental gardens from nearby parkland.

Over the last 30 years the feature has gradually crumbled and now needs significant restoration work to bring it back to its former state.

The project has been set up by Wentworth Castle Heritage Trust, Steel Valley Project and the Yorkshire Dry Stone Walling Academy, with help from the East Peak Innovation Partnership.

Walling instructors from the academy have trained 12 conservation volunteers and staff before they set about rebuilding the structure.

On Saturday, October 8 a free all-day session is being led by trainers from the academy, giving beginners an introduction to building dry stone walls.

For more information or to book a place call Kate Hughes at the Steel Valley Project on 0114 2830880.

A lecture is also taking place next Saturday to discuss the estate’s Blackamoor garden statue, which was restored last year.

The talk, titled The Wentworth Blackamoor and the War of the Spanish Succession, will be led by Wentworth Castle Trust trustee Dr Patrick Eyres.

Dr Eyres will give an insight into the statue, installed at the gardens in around 1720 as a monument to Thomas Wentworth’s achievement in bringing about the Treaty of Utrecht, which ended the Spanish war.

The talk starts at 2pm and will be rounded off with a traditional cream tea.

To book visit www.wentworthcastle.org or telephone 01226 776040.