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Competition: Wentworth Woodhouse, Rotherham

Wentworth Woodhouse
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Historic England is recruiting a conservation architect for a major overhaul of Grade I-listed Wentworth Woodhouse near Rotherham, South Yorkshire

The winner of the £650,000 contract will oversee a major restoration of the crumbling 23,000m² country house which features a 185-metre façade and is thought to be the largest private dwelling in the country.

Planned to complete in 2020, the phased project is backed by Woodhouse Wentworth Preservation Trust which purchased the enormous eighteenth century complex earlier this year.

According to the brief: ‘Phase I should cover the repair of the roofs of the South-East Wing (Bedlam) and the Riding School. These two areas have been identified because they are in very bad or poor condition and the works required are relatively straightforward and can be specified and tendered within a tight timescale.

‘Project development for Phase 2 can be undertaken concurrently. It is proposed that this will focus upon the repair of the centre of the East Front, Chapel, Oak Staircase and Grand Staircase, protecting the interiors of the highest significance.’

Built by several architects between 1725 and 1750 for Thomas Watson-Wentworth, Marquess of Rockingham – the Baroque landmark is thought to feature around 365 rooms, 1,000 windows and several kilometres of underground passages.

The 73 hectare estate was used as a teacher training college during much of the twentieth century and its most recent owner was the architect Clifford Newbold who planned to transform it into a £200 million spa.

Woodhouse Wentworth Preservation Trust purchased the building in March and plans to open it to the public and create a new events space in the North Wing. The stables will meanwhile feature offices and a small number of residential, short lease units will also be created.

The latest project is divided into two phases with the first element covering essential roof and external repairs to the south-east wing and nearby riding school. The second phase will repair the main 19-bay east façade along with the chapel, oak staircase and grand staircase. Repairs to the floors and ceilings of the long gallery, and the south-east and the north-east pavilions will also be included.

Bidders must have employers’ liability insurance of £5 million, public liability insurance worth £5 million and professional indemnity insurance cover of £5 million.

The deadline for applications is 12noon on 23 June.

How to apply

View the contract notice for more information

Contact details

Robert Youe
Historic England
The Engine House

E-mail: procurement@historicengland.org.uk

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