Camellia House at Wentworth Woodhouse to bloom again thanks to £4million

Camellia House at Wentworth Woodhouse to bloom again thanks to £4million

The Camellia House at Wentworth Woodhouse.
The Grade II* listed Camellia House will be restored to its former glory and transformed into a global tea house.

The Georgian glass-fronted structure sits in the grounds of "Yorkshire’s hidden gem", Wentworth Woodhouse in Rotherham.

Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players and the hard work of Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust, the Camellia House is to be returned to its past splendour. It will be transformed into a celebration of one of the globe’s most popular drinks… tea.

It was discovered in 2021 that some of the flowers in the house have survived since the early 1800s.

In the 1800s the Camellia House was used as a tea house by Lady Rockingham, wife of the 2nd Marquess, to entertain guests with the most fashionable new drink of the day.

Significant natural heritage

The year-long project will start work in early summer 2022. Historic camellias will take pride of place when the house reopens in 2023. It was discovered in 2021 that some of the flowers in the house have survived since the early 1800s.

Camellia house
Historic camellias growing in the Camellia House at Wentworth Woodhouse. Credit: Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust

As a global tea house, it will host evening events and serve as a weekly space for local community groups to explore local tea traditions. The venue will also host a range of art workshops, natural play, sensory and wellbeing experiences and exhibitions, with many focussing on the theme of tea.

Heritage making positive change

Revamping the Camellia House marks a major step in Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust’s plans for the Grade I-listed architectural jewel. They rescued it from decline in 2017.

This project is a great example of the significance of heritage in creating a sense of pride in people’s hometowns and counties, and the positive impact it can have on boosting the economy.

David Renwick, Heritage Fund, Director, England, North

In its new 21st-century incarnation, Wentworth Woodhouse will become a leading visitor attraction and a catalyst for boosting the local economy in South Yorkshire.

The house has already been recognised as a game-changer for putting Rotherham and South Yorkshire on the global cultural map.

From March 2017 to March 2021, the Trust:

  • created 57 jobs
  • attracted 71,000 visitors
  • spent 95% of the £7.9m it used to improve the buildings with to local companies
  • added £13.5m to the South Yorkshire economy
People sitting around a table outside
Giles Proctor of Historic England, Sarah McLeod, CEO at Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust, and David Renwick of the Heritage Fund sit in the Camellia House at Wentworth Woodhouse. Credit: Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust

David Renwick, Director, England, North, said: "The ambitious and important work being undertaken by Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust looks is a great example of the significance of heritage in creating a sense of pride in people’s hometowns and counties, and the positive impact it can have on boosting the economy. ”

Heritage creating thriving places

Find out more about how heritage projects are helping to create better places to live, work and visit.

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