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Our work at Wentworth Castle Gardens

A gardener crouches down to talk to a young child who has picked up the gardener's hoe at Wenworth Castle Gardens, Yorkshire
Working in Wentworth Castle Gardens | © National Trust Images/Trevor Ray Hart

We work in partnership with Barnsley Council and Northern College to manage Wentworth Castle Gardens. Between us, we aim to put people at the heart of everything we do, with opportunities for the public to get involved and help shape the gardens. Among the projects we work on together are community initiatives, conservation projects and wildlife protection schemes.

Our programme

We want the stories we tell – both historic and contemporary – to be relevant to everyone, and for Wentworth Castle Gardens to be a place where people can feel at home, develop their skills and look after their health and wellbeing.

Re-designing the Union Jack Gardens

In the 18th century, Thomas Wentworth set out to display his political allegiances through the design of the Union Jack Garden.

Over the next two years, the garden segments will be re-designed by community groups from around Barnsley in a way that represents their core values and identity.

Find out more about this project

Aerial view of the Victorian Flower Garden and Union Jack Garden at Wentworth Castle Gardens
Victorian Flower and Union Jack Gardens | © Steve Williams/David White

Stainborough Castle Project

Funded by Barnsley Council, the Stainborough Castle Repair Project was part of a programme of works undertaken to improve the condition of the site as part of our 25-year partnership lease with the council to look after this special place.

Stainborough Castle was built by Thomas Wentworth between 1728-1730 to impress his friends and visitors. Over 300 years later, only one half of the castle front still stands; the other turret lost when the estate fell into disrepair at the turn of the last century.

Our work on Stainborough Castle aimed to ensure that what is left of the castle can be enjoyed by everyone, for ever.

Working on the folly, specialist stone masons replaced eroded stones, repointed joints where the mortar had perished, removed vegetation growth, and replaced perished timber lintels. Work was completed in summer 2021 and visitors can now climb to the top of the folly to look out on the far-reaching views.

Protecting bats at Wentworth Castle Gardens

As a conservation charity, protecting wildlife at our places is at the core of our values. Old buildings, such as Stainborough Castle, are ideal roosting sites for bats. During building work, we went to great lengths to protect all the features that make the castle great for bats long into the future.

There are four species using resting places (roosts) within the castle, including the brown long-eared bat, noctule, common pipistrelle and Natterer’s bat.

The exterior of Stainborough Castle, with a round tower and archway, at Wentworth Castle Gardens on a sunny day
Stainborough Castle at Wentworth Castle Gardens | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

As it happened

January 2021

Work begins at Stainborough Castle

On 18 January, the contractors moved on site at Wentworth Castle Gardens to begin work. 

The exterior of the conservatory and house at Wentworth Castle Gardens on a sunny day


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Our partners

Heritage Fund

Inspiring, leading and resourcing the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future.

Visit website 

Northern College

Adult residential college based at Wentworth Castle in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England.

Visit website 

Barnsley Council

Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council is the local authority of the Metropolitan Borough of Barnsley in South Yorkshire, England.

Visit website 

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Our cause 

We believe that nature, beauty and history are for everyone. That’s why we’re supporting wildlife, protecting historic sites and more. Find out about our work.