Wentworth Woodhouse, near Rotherham, was awarded £7.6 million in yesterday’s Autumn Statement to help fund its renovation.
Chancellor Phillip Hammond announced the grant in the House of Commons stating “Wentworth Woodhouse is now at critical risk of being lost to future generations,” and that the “urgent repairs” would “safeguard this key piece of Northern heritage.”
The 350-room house, thought to have been the inspiration for Jane Austen’s Pemberley, is under severe threat from subsidence caused by coal mines on the house’s estate. The mines were “almost up to the front door” according to one local resident.
A full repair and renovation of the Grade I listed building is estimated to cost £42 million, with the £7.6 million promised by the government crossing the fundraising threshold required by a 30th November deadline.
The site is currently in use by South Yorkshire Police for the training of police dogs, and was today used for location filming for upcoming film The Darkest Hour, with Gary Oldman starring as Winston Churchill.
A spokesman for the estate declined to comment on the funding, saying that they “only heard the news yesterday.”
The impressive stable block, that local photographic historians Martyn and Christine Johnson say many mistake for the house itself, could be set to receive more businesses as part of the increased interest in the area.
Local tea-shop owner Jane Woodhouse said that she was pleased that building was going to be renovated and that it would have been a shame for it to have been left for “rag and ruin.”
The renovation of the in places derelict house is expected to take around 15 years to complete with the house open to the public in 2031.