The £7.6m restoration of Wentworth Woodhouse has reached an important milestone as a huge scaffold has been erected to cover sections the roof, which spans the 606ft façade, to allow essential restoration work and rooftop tours to go ahead.
The scaffold, which has been put up to protect the roof from weather damage, enables the skilled craftsmen working on-site to carry out the repairs and re-roofing with the attention to detail and quality that this Grade I listed building deserves. The structure will also protect the building below from the risk of rain ingress.
The Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust will also be giving ‘behind the scenes’ access to the public, with a walkway also integrated into the design of the 700-tonne scaffold, allowing members of the public to observe the restoration efforts below including the unique restoration to urns, statues and relief structures along the building’s roof, as well as viewing the remainder of the historic building from a completely different angle.
Mostly built from 1725, but with early sections dating from 1630, Wentworth Woodhouse is one of the grandest stately homes in Britain, boasting a façade which has been described as the longest domestic façade in England. The Westmorland Slate roof, which was designed to be invisible from ground level, has been in urgent need of repairs for a number of years, with the timber structure beneath the slates suffering from decay, as Donald Insall Associates’ Conservation Architect, Caroline Drake, describes:
“On a wet day, buckets were collecting rainwater within the dampened interiors, which were inadequately protected by tarpaulin, introduced to buy some time until full repairs can be undertaken. We have happily now water proofed Wentworth Woodhouse, so that this in no longer necessary. Instead, we can focus on improving the thermal performance of the roofs and their maintenance access as well as all-important safety measures to help reduce the spread of fire.”
To book onto one of the rooftop tours and see the restoration efforts in action, visit the Wentworth Woodhouse website.