WORK has started on the long overdue re-roofing of Wentworth Woodhouse’s state rooms — and you could soon have a close look at the renovations taking place.
Woodhead Group has been selected by the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust (WWPT) to carry out the repair, restoration and replacement of the building’s 16,000 sq ft roof in a £5 million project which will take up to two years.
Scaffolding costing more than £1 million is being installed to give roofers access to the top of the East Front, including the roof of the Marble Hall and other grand state rooms.
A canopy covering the roof will protect the building while the work is carried out and special walkways are being installed so visitors can enjoy rooftop tours.
Julie A Kenny, chair of the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Woodhead Group on what is arguably the greatest restoration project for a generation.
“The roof repairs that form the bulk of this phase of works are critical, as water ingress has caused so much damage in recent years.
“This vital work will make a very real difference in halting the decline of the mansion.”
Woodhead’s work on the project will also include some repairs and conservation to the interiors, including the East Front and oak staircase, the eastern portion of the block containing the Long Gallery, the south-east pavilion, north-east pavilion, the portico floor and the east front lamp standards.
Craig Pygall, construction director for Woodhead Group, said: “We are delighted to be working on such a prestigious project.
“We have a dedicated and experienced project team, eager to be a part of the Wentworth Woodhouse story — helping breathe life into this phenomenal and nationally significant part of our built heritage.”
The project will be managed by father-daughter team, Andy and Amy Stamford, who have worked together on heritage projects such as Bridgford Hall in Nottinghamshire, and a more recent tourism project in Sherwood Forest, creating a new visitor centre for the RSPB.
The initial roofing works of this phase are expected to be completed by the end of next year.
Architects Donald Insall Associates are also involved in the project.
Chairman Tony Barton said: “We have already seen significant progress so far in repairing the roof on the south east wing and we look forward to continuing our vital work on the east front of Wentworth Woodhouse — these repairs will ensure sustainable use of the building for generations to come.”
The roof works are the first major component in the 25-year masterplan for Wentworth Woodhouse, which also includes turning the derelict Camelia House into a cafe and events venue, redeveloping the run-down stables into a wedding venue and business centre and creating new holiday lets.
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