Many priceless paintings once graced the walls of Grade I listed Wentworth Woodhouse. Now the Rotherham stately home has a new set of original artworks to display with pride…
South Yorkshire teenagers on the National Citizen Service scheme run by Rotherham United’s Community Sports Trust spent a week at the mansion creating a unique series of images.
Their arty work will be finding acclaim on high… on the mansion’s rooftop, where hundreds of visitors a week are enjoying guided tours.
Wentworth Woodhouse is being restored by its Preservation Trust and vital repairs to the roof, which is the size of six football pitches, have begun.
Over 700 tonnes of scaffolding over the East Front of the house enables heritage construction specialists to work on the roof for the next 18 months, and a huge canopy now protects the house.
WWPT’s rooftop tours, launched in July, take visitors 18 metres up, via 135 steps or a lift for those with mobility issues, for a bird’s eye view of the house and countryside.
Over a dozen imaginative images created by NCS young people will adorn the hoardings on the public walkways.
“We asked them to think creatively, using the house and a host of facts about the scaffolding and the rooftop tours as their inspiration and we were astonished at how brilliant their paintings were,” said Keeley Stephenson of WWPT. “They are going to look fantastic on our rooftop walkways. We even got a new version of Whistlejacket, the Earl’s legendary 18th century racehorse, whose painting by Stubbs is in the National Portrait Gallery!”
Equally impressed was Woodhead Group Quantity Survey Amy Stamford, who is working on the roof project, encouraged her bosses to provide all art materials for the project, and Rotherham United’s Community Sports Trust, who decided to pay to have their logo on one of the paintings.
Emily Haigh, of Hoyland, and Lauren Malia, of Aston, are both 16 and created a technicolour interpretation of Wentworth monuments the Needle’s Eye, Hoober Stand, the Rockingham Mausoleum and Doric Temple.
“It’s been really good fun and we’re looking forward to seeing our work on display,” said Lauren Malia, 16, of Aston, who left Wales High School in July and plans to study at Thomas Rotherham College.
Three 16-year-olds, Reece Hirst, of Darfield, Holly West, of Thrybergh, and Joseph Stringer of Bolton on Dearne worked together on an image. “It symbolises new horizons for the house and the new generations coming to see it,” said Thybergh Comprehensive pupil Holly,who plans to study at RCAT.
NCS is a youth development programme running which gives 15-17-year-olds four weeks of residential and social action activities during their summer or autumn holidays.
Teams pitch to take on projects to help their community and two were selected to help at Wentworth Woodhouse.
The second group got stuck into fundraising for WWPT. In Rotherham town centre they sold secondhand books, painted children’s faces and did a spot of busking. Others ran a cake stall in Wentworth’s Pillared Hall.
The group raised £197.
“It’s been great to feel you are doing something useful for such a beautiful place,” said Maltby Academy leaver Julianne Mackintosh.