National recognition for work at key Barnsley landmark

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A PROJECT to restore prominent South Yorkshire gardens has reached the final of a national competition to find the UK’s best Lottery-funded heritage scheme.

Over the last nine years £17 million has been spent on Wentworth Castle near Barnsley, with funding coming from a variety of sources including the Lottery.

The money has enabled a number of historic buildings and monuments to be restored on site including Stainborough Castle, Wentworth Castle, the Corinthian Temple, the Sun Monument, the Gun Room and Duke of the Argyll’s Monument, the North Ha Ha.

The most recent restoration was the Rotunda while the 60- acre pleasure gardens have also been restored including the Union Jack Gardens.

The national collections of rhododendrons, camellias and magnolias have also been enhanced while around 35,000 trees have been planted in Stainborough Park.

Steve Garland, interim heritage director, said: “I am delighted to hear that the Phase 1 restoration of Wentworth Castle Gardens has been voted through to the finals of the 2011 National Lottery Awards. It is a wonderful achievement for everyone who has helped us to become a real jewel in Barnsley’s crown. 

“The Lottery funding has enabled us to bring the estate back to life and growing numbers of visitors are enjoying it every year.”

A lecture on the work is to be held at 2pm next Thursday, in St James’ Hall at Wentworth Castle Gardens.

The talk will be given by the estate manager of Wentworth Castle Trust Dr Michael Klemperer, and will give an insight into the landscape history of the site, how the site looks now and how the current developments reflect the area’s history.