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News


Wentworth Castle Gardens to close

Wednesday February 1 2017


The gardens will close in the spring The gardens will close in the spring


WENTWORTH Castle Gardens will permanently close to the public in the spring.

The Heritage Trust behind the gardens says it has not been able to make enough money to cover the running costs and management of the site - despite  a £3.74 million restoration of the garden's Victorian conservatory back in 2013.

John Edwards, Chair of the Wentworth Castle and Stainborough Park Heritage Trust said: "In recent years we have not been able to make enough money to cover the running costs required to manage the site and keep the gardens open as a year round visitor attraction.

"As a result of this, we are working with the support of Barnsley council to manage the closure.

"We would like to give assurance that every effort will be made to honour all existing weddings and celebratory events for 2017 and we will contact all parties directly.

“We have taken this difficult decision towards a managed closure of the site in the expectation that a sustainable future can be found.

"We are working hard to ensure that this beautiful and historic Grade I listed landscape will be maintained and the gardens preserved for many generations to come."

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Reply Posted by Wodger Wabbit on Wednesday February 1 2017 at 14:49
Yet another Barnsley Council cock up! They could easily have part-funded the gardens if they wanted to but instead are blowing the extra council tax on giving free hand outs to layabouts who can't be arsed to work.

Reply Posted by brer rabbit on Wednesday February 1 2017 at 15:03
your dead right some across from us are still in bed now nice 2 bedroomed flats paid out of our income tax and savings repairing and selling card behind the premises Time the enforcement dept took more severe action

Reply Posted by Abc on Wednesday February 1 2017 at 15:18
How do you know people across from you are still in bed now? Do you mean the curtains are still closed? If so, doesn't mean people are still in bed, perhaps they keep their curtains closed cos they have nosy neighbours.

Reply Posted by The man with no face on Wednesday February 1 2017 at 15:06
Wodger wabbit, please explain what you mean by the council blowing extra council tax by giving free hand outs to layabouts???

Reply Posted by Wodger Wabbit on Wednesday February 1 2017 at 15:16
to The man with no face, haven't you seen the story about the council tax rise? They're putting it up by 3% to cover what they call adult social care, in other words, funding bone idle layabouts to stay in bed all day.

Reply Posted by Bcd on Wednesday February 1 2017 at 15:25
You are wrong. Adult social care is what helps care for the elderly with home visits and so on, or to pay for them to stay in residential care.

Reply Posted by Cde on Wednesday February 1 2017 at 15:30
Council tax is not used to pay for layabouts.
Income tax does though and I've been paying enough of that for past 31 years!Government needs to stop the billionaire tax dodgers.

Reply Posted by Old Tarner on Wednesday February 1 2017 at 15:21
To raise funds couldn't they install some stocks, lock Wodger Wabbit in them & charge £5 a go to slap him in the face with a wet kipper?

Reply Posted by The man with no face on Wednesday February 1 2017 at 15:29
Thanks bcd that clears things up for wodger wabbit, I hope you understand now mr wabbit

Reply Posted by Uneekc on Wednesday February 1 2017 at 15:36
I am gutted! My son loves it here.

Reply Posted by Lollol on Wednesday February 1 2017 at 15:38
Used to play in the gardens when we was a kid just climb over wall. Good for a game of hide a seek of ghost hunting at night. Lady Lucy was a good women until she fell into the river

Reply Posted by Janet on Wednesday February 1 2017 at 15:39
I visted Wentworth gardens once and was charged £4 just for parking when I was just going to eat lunch there. That stopped me from ever going back.... Maybe if you didnt charge so much for parking more people would have visited the site and spent money in the shops and cafe..... I feel its your own fault and that you need to re think charges to invite more people to visit.

Reply Posted by gillybean on Wednesday February 1 2017 at 22:41
Totally agree .

Reply Posted by rjw on Tuesday February 7 2017 at 08:19
Parking Is free

Reply Posted by Yorkhull on Wednesday February 1 2017 at 15:46
Actually not really about local councils, adult care or the state of the local economy. The worst public cuts in living memory since 2010 have forced councils to make terrible choices which please no one. Put this squarely on Tory shoulders, I bet similar gardens in Tory heartlands will stay open.

Reply Posted by TTM on Wednesday February 1 2017 at 16:50
.....not the liebour shoulders then.......the party that nearly ruined this country and is itself collapsing......just like wonderful Wentworth.

Reply Posted by Jocelyn on Wednesday February 1 2017 at 16:04
The prices charged are prohibitive for a family group. Reduce prices to make it accessible. Families will come and you could boost takings with affordable gifts and snack foods aimed at families

Reply Posted by David & Lynsey Thomas on Wednesday February 1 2017 at 16:14
Omg!!! That's terrible news.... we were married here and had lots of wonderful wedding photos in the grounds. This place has strong memories for us and Dave and I are genuinely devastated at this news

Reply Posted by The man with no face on Wednesday February 1 2017 at 16:58
I have to agree about the price to get in and for parking, I've been a few times and it's a rip off, I can afford it but that's not the point, I think they only like people who are well off, I don't think the want the regular people visiting

Reply Posted by rjw on Tuesday February 7 2017 at 08:20
Given The fact park is free, perhaps you think they should pay you to park

Reply Posted by Kathycurl on Wednesday February 1 2017 at 18:06
Have to agree that taking the family there is cost prohibitive. I am a RHS member but there are very strict restrictions on when you get reduced rates. It has more to do with people going there than the Council. If attendance is low they will not be able to cover over heads. Footfall and costs are the problem here.

Reply Posted by John Dowson on Wednesday February 1 2017 at 18:49
Sadly this organisation has received a large amount of public and European money in past years to establish a public resource. Now it wants to prevent the public from using it. Will they give the money back? I think not!

Reply Posted by Ron on Wednesday February 1 2017 at 20:25
Cannon Hall will be next to close or start charging again.

Reply Posted by Mildred on Wednesday February 1 2017 at 21:18
I think this is really sad, it's such a lovely place. I hope they somehow get funding, it would be a shame to lose it altogether.

Reply Posted by Gina on Wednesday February 1 2017 at 22:39
I think they should have reduced their cost of entry and parking. I have only been up for a craft fair at xmas because it was free parking. They have priced people out who would regularly go for a walk round. We used to go all the time before they started charging. I would love to take the kids up but I can't afford it. But you even have to pay to go in the kids play ground.

Reply Posted by rjw on Tuesday February 7 2017 at 08:21
PArking, how can they reduce somwething thats free

Reply Posted by Tykefan on Thursday February 2 2017 at 02:18
If it was free, how would that keep it open?
The overheads for houses like this are incredible. Council tax alone will be somewhere along the £50-60k a year mark at least!
Yes, it's a great cultural and historical landmark. However the only way to stop it being knocked down completely is to close part of it down and charge money for private use.

Reply Posted by Cecilia on Thursday February 2 2017 at 08:46
It is a sad affair that a building full of historical interest will be closed to the public, thankfully I have the privilege to visit and have some wonderful photographs of the place.

Reply Posted by Vicky Mozley on Thursday February 2 2017 at 09:33
This is Barnsley all over , you have a fantastic asset like this and still can't make it pay , no more culture for us we live in Barnsley ,. How come Cannon Hall farm goes from strength to strength , oh yes it doesn't belong to the council , it is heaving even in winter , get a proper business manager into Wentworth and use your assets , why stop doing weddings when they must be bringing in money , lastly l do believe the consevetory was rebuilt with lottery money , so we helped to pay for it but can't visit , well done Barnsley !!

Reply Posted by barnsley mad on Thursday February 2 2017 at 10:41
john and Vicky ,you are right it is lottery money used to create and improve a public resource.BUT i believe where lottery money is used they have to provide that resource for at least 3 years .surprise surprise the 3 years have JUST run out .therefore commitment achieved ,no money back.no penalties

Reply Posted by Jo Marshall on Thursday February 2 2017 at 11:02
Why are people so bloody ignorant,your venom should be directed towards this corrosive government who are intent on destroying the social fabric of this country.Have you any idea of the amount of money being taken from local councils in the north and redirected to the rich shires.wake up,before it's too late.

Reply Posted by Mo Jarshall on Thursday February 2 2017 at 11:15
Utter rubbish, Jo. Sheep like you who mindlessly vote Labour regardless of how they've messed up Barnsley and then blame those nasty Tories when the Labour council overspends are part of the problem.

Reply Posted by John on Thursday February 2 2017 at 12:41
So it wasn't the Tories who've cut the funding grant to Barnsley Council by £85 million per year since 2010 then - if you do even a cursory amount of research you'll find this to be fact not opinion. Another £23 million per year being cut per year by 2020 too. That's why council tax is going up - the Tories are pushing the tax burden to local taxpayers rather than funding it nationally.

Reply Posted by Ailsa Cragg on Thursday February 2 2017 at 13:30
The reason why the Conservative government had to cut council funding is the fallout from the financial crisis caused by the last Labour govenrment in 2008! If Labour had managed the economy properly, the government would be able to afford to give local councils more funding.

Reply Posted by MR X on Sunday February 5 2017 at 14:48
What an absolute load of GARBAGE.

The GLOBAL financial crash wasn't caused by Labour at all, the answer is in the sentence opposite,

You keep reading the right wing rags like the Daily Fail or the Scum.

Reply Posted by rjw on Thursday February 9 2017 at 08:00
the can still mind the money to resurface racecommon road every five years

Reply Posted by None of your damn business on Thursday February 2 2017 at 11:51
Cannon hall is better anyway and free to enter.........(not the farm)

Reply Posted by Margaret Johnson on Thursday February 2 2017 at 11:56
Just a few points. Firstly, the house is run as an adult educational establishment with facilities for a residential stay. Lots of courses are run over three days and some courses are free, subsidised by local councils. There are also childcare facilities (which have to be booked) for parents attending courses. Longer further education courses are run too. The facility is fantastic and frankly I don't know why anyone living in Barnsley and surrounding area would not know about it.
Secondly the gardens are run entirely separately and as someone pointed out had a grant to make improvements and restore the conservatory it would be a great loss if this was now neglected and the garden closed. Thirdly I would like to endorse the opinion that Car parking at four pounds is prohibitive added to the entrance charge this makes nine pounds for one person to enter the gardens.
In addition the bus service which passes the grounds is too infrequent to make an attractive alternative transport even for a fare dodger like myself(I am a Pensioner) when a venue is unviable measures have to be taken to either make it viable or to close it. I will be sorry if the gardens do close as this will mean a further loss of employment, in the staff who have been making a splendid job of restoring and maintaining the gardens. Horticulture and landscape is not an easy area to find employment in and yet it adds so much to our lives, though at this time of year it may not seem so, many maintenance jobs are carried out in the winter.

Reply Posted by BP on Thursday February 2 2017 at 12:16
Disgraceful, this is one of Barnsley's prized assets and brings in people from all over.

Surely this has to be saved somehow.

Reply Posted by Aunt Hilda on Thursday February 2 2017 at 15:32
That's the problemBP. It isn't bringing people in from all over.....well, not enough of the.

Reply Posted by Johnny on Thursday February 2 2017 at 13:08
It would be a crying shame to lose what other areas would consider a prized part of their local heritage. I've been to Wentworth Castle gardens on numerous occasions and thoroughly enjoyed it. There must be a way to save the gardens, cheaper parking - attract more visitors, opening only at weekends - there must be a way to reduce operating costs, without going to the extreme of closing for good. It all seems a bit of a knee jerk reaction and once it's closed, it will be harder and more costly to open in the future. I'm sure they were talking about hosting concerts in the grounds at some point?

Reply Posted by John. on Thursday February 2 2017 at 13:40
I was surprised, in the first instance, when a charge was put on to walk round the gardens. I would have thought, if the gardens were a visitors’ magnet, the money, to keep the gardens open, should have been found in some other way!

Reply Posted by Mart on Thursday February 2 2017 at 15:54
Good job it isn't derelict.They mysteriously catch on fire.Salvation Army building on Wellington St may be next or is it too close to other shops?

Reply Posted by Sharkey on Thursday February 2 2017 at 18:42
This is such a shame. There is a lovely adventure playground and castle which my children have enjoyed for years. Other than Cannon Hall there is nowhere else to go in Barnsley. The council should be doing all they can to promote this attraction and encourage visitors- but yet again they will let something close and go to rack and ruin - do the council really care about this town? I think not ... it is in a state and getting worse and they could not care less .... oh yes sorry I forgot - we have a new market .... hallelujah. It's a disgrace.

Reply Posted by Gary the gardener on Thursday February 2 2017 at 19:10
Why are people blaming the council? The gardens were signed over to the heritage trust in 2004, who have run the site ever since. The gardens are open to the public at a price that is comparable to other gardens around the country. The problem is the location, move the gardens elsewhere other than Barnsley and people would visit.

Reply Posted by Craig on Thursday February 2 2017 at 19:30
Maybe Barnsley is not the best place for this kind of attraction but it is close to M1 to attract visitors from elsewhere. It could do with something to draw more people in. Maybe a decent cafe. Look at Wentworth Garden Centre in Rotherham. Their cafe is amazing and is always packed full. They even extended it a few years ago

Reply Posted by Imposter Clowns on Thursday February 2 2017 at 21:36
Ano Craig, it's in the wrong location. Perhaps we can get it picked up by a giant crane and relocated to somewhere it will be appreciated.

Reply Posted by The man with no face on Thursday February 2 2017 at 19:46
Wentworth garden centre is a decent place to visit but the cafe isn't the best imo, I like the little shop that sells Wensleydale cheese sandwages though

Reply Posted by Deano on Thursday February 2 2017 at 20:48
They have charged too much and people have kept away, a lower cost to visit would have seen more people attend and bring in more revenue in the long run.

Reply Posted by Amanda on Friday February 3 2017 at 17:00
I agree, Wentworth do not charge for parking or the play area, it is one of the only places to visit free, hence it is always busy (other then farm). Having money to spend on site to support the businesses within. food, gifts etc
Real shame

Reply Posted by Kate Fawdry on Friday February 3 2017 at 17:17
NEVER put all your eggs in ONE basket, how far would £3.74 MILLION have gone towards the upkeep of ALL the gardens?

Reply Posted by ????? on Friday February 3 2017 at 19:59
Amanda, sorry love you have got the wrong Wentworth! You are talking about Wentworth in Wentworth village! The Wentworth under discussion is at
Stainborough. Its just a shop, gardens and cafe. And an old stately home. £4 ish to park!!

Reply Posted by rjw on Tuesday February 7 2017 at 08:26
Where has this misconception that its £4 to park come from . its free to park

Reply Posted by mf65 on Saturday February 4 2017 at 14:22
if it had been run properly like cannon hall is then it would be far better off than it is now

Reply Posted by john on Sunday February 5 2017 at 20:25
maybe you should return to 3.74 million then? I have known people from Sheffield who has thought they were on a trip to see the gardens and green houses and actually ending up at Wentworth Woodhouse garden centre!!

Reply Posted by Brian on Monday February 6 2017 at 19:48
£3.74 million?????

I read somewhere that Wentworth Castle and gardens had received a total of £22.00 million of public money. If this is true, the trustees should be fully held to account.

Reply Posted by Denise Rowe on Thursday February 9 2017 at 09:53
So sad, lovely setting , hope it will not be used for housing.

Reply Posted by Mo on Saturday February 11 2017 at 13:57
Take a look at who the trustees are,a collection of MP's councillors inc. the inevitable Linda Burgess &professors .No businessmen .Also look at the wage bill for 2014-2015 wowee.

Reply Posted by Steve C on Sunday February 19 2017 at 18:30
IT WILL BE A GREAT SHAME TO SEE THESE WONDERFUL GROUNDS, WOODLANDS, GARDENS AND THE BEAUTIFUL CONSERVATORY CLOSING TO THE PUBLIC!

Reply Posted by kate on Sunday February 19 2017 at 22:57
Just visited Wentworth Castle Gardens and was so impressed and surprised, also saddened by the imminent closure, had to make a comment. Whatever local issues may or may not have taken place this closure can be put in the context of very many museums, libraries, cultural facilities in the north of England being closed down - the provinces seem to have been very hard hit by "austerity."
On costs - although it all adds up of course - we did not pay anything for the carpark and it was a lot cheaper and more interesting than visiting the RHS gardens in Harrogate.