One of the largest houses in Europe, Rotherham’s Wentworth Woodhouse, will soon have a souvenir shop and garden tours.
The changes are being brought in to mark the first anniversary since the house was taken over by Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust.
This month, guided tours of the historic spring gardens will be introduced and a new retail space in the house will be opened, offering Wentworth Woodhouse souvenirs and products.
Sarah McLeod, Chief Executive of Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust, said: “Wentworth Woodhouse has been a central part of the community for many years. We have been overwhelmed by the positive response we have had over the past year and we are excited about the coming year and the exciting developments ahead.”
Since taking on ownership of the Grade I listed building in March last year, the Preservation Trust has begun a major project to restore the house and open it to the public. Special guided tours have been taking place within the house as part of the Trust’s bid to raise funds for vital repair work.
Over the winter, volunteers have been helping Wentworth’s small team of gardeners restore and clear parts of the gardens that have previously been hidden away, ready for tours.
The gardens were opened for a limited time in February during the snowdrop season for guided tours. Following on from the success of those tours, the grounds will be opened for guided garden tours from the first Bank Holiday in May to coincide with the blooming of the rhododendrons and the start of the bluebell season.
The mile-long guided tours will take visitors around parts of the historic grounds, taking in areas not normally seen by the public.
Visitors to the 18th century house will be shown around the gardens and up to the terrace and Doric Temple, taking in impressive views over towards Sheffield and the Peak District.
Head Gardener, Scott Jamieson, said: “Set against the backdrop of newly emerging spring foliage, the garden really comes alive. The orchard too will be springing into life with apple and pear blossom filling the garden with scent.”
The summer season will also see the opening of new tea rooms, which will be open to everyone.
For full details of about the garden tours, hall tours, shop and tea rooms, visit www.wentworthwoodhouse.co.uk.