Posts Tagged ‘follies’

Keppel’s Column

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

At 115 feet, Keppel’s Column is the tallest of the Wentworth follies; it was originally planned to be even taller and capped with a statue of Admiral Keppel, but evidently the Marquis of Rockingham ran short of funds. It was designed by John Carr, who was also responsible for the Wentworth Woodhouse stables and the family’s Irish house at Coollattin.

Admiral Keppel was a friend of the Marquis and a fellow Whig who was court-martialled following a naval defeat at the hands of the French in 1777. The Marquis had already planned to build a pillar to mark the southern boundary of his park, but following Keppel’s acquittal he adapted the design and aimed to create a triumphal pillar by way of celebrating what he saw as a defeat for the government.

Sadly the building as designed wasn’t completed, which leaves us with an oddly proportioned tower which seems to bulge out slightly due to the entasis about three quarters of the way up (had it been completed to it’s full height this architectural effect should have made it appear straight from a distance).

The tower, which has an internal spiral staircase, was open to the public until the 1960s but it is now in a dangerous condition and is kept locked. The current owners, Rotherham Borough Council, seem to have added strengthening to the lower part of the tower as a precaution. It isn’t known if there are any plans to reopen the tower, but now that the other Wentworth follies are all open at various times it’s a shame not to be able to take in the complete set! In the meanwhile you can view the tower at close quarters from the public footpath running from Admiral’s Crest in Scholes.

Web Links

You may like to visit Ink Amera for more extensive coverage of Keppel’s Column and all other Wentworth follies.

Things to See

Friday, December 18th, 2009

Wentworth Woodhouse
For visitors, there are plenty of things to see and do in the Wentworth area. Here are just a few suggestions.

Wentworth Park

The public rights of way through Wentworth Park have always been popular with local walkers. The highlight is the magnificent East Front of Wentworth Woodhouse (the widest house in the country!) with its equally grand stable block, but there are plenty of other buildings and sights of interest in the park. These include the famous follies of Hoober Stand, the Needles Eye, Keppel’s Column and the Mausoleum, plus lesser known features such as the Doric and Ionic Temples. The lakes in the park are also worth a visit and are very popular with local anglers (fishing licenses are available from the Estate Office).


The village shopWentworth village itself is of considerable historical interest. The well preserved estate cottages along Main Street were built in an ad hoc fashion from the early 17th century onwards and have a charm of their own. The Old and New Churches are also worth a visit. You might also find events being held in the Mechanics Institute or in the Barn at the Rockingham Arms.


Clock ShopFor a small village, Wentworth has a very wide range of shops and businesses, all of which are popular with visitors. The Garden Centre is perhaps the best known attraction; built on the site of the old Wentworth Woodhouse kitchen gardens , the complex also includes a number of craft shops and a children’s farm.

Elsewhere, there are a number of shops in the old Building Yard area near the entrance to Wentworth Park; these include the relatively new Arts, Crafts and Antiques centre, plus a number of craft outlets.

In the village itself, you will find the Village Shop, Post Office, Little Gallery, a hairdresser, wine merchant and number of smaller craft shops near the George and Dragon pub. See our Business Directory for further details.

Nearby Attractions

A mile or so from Wentworth, the former estate village of Elsecar has a number of attractions, notably the popular Heritage Centre which has a number of permanent exhibitions and craft shops, as well as a preserved steam railway. A walk in the countryside around the village can be a pleasant way to spend a few hours and may bring you to charming outlying hamlets such as Street, Lea Brook and Hood Hill. Finally, for those who can’t resist shopping, there is of course the Meadowhall centre, one junction down the motorway!