Treeton Local History Group

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May meeting report

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May's monthly meeting, on Thursday 31st, saw the welcome return of Mel and Joan Jones, to give an illustrated talk on Wentworth Woodhouse, the historic seat and home of the Fitzwilliam family.

Wentworth Woodhouse is a Grade I listed country house which was built by Thomas Watson-Wentworth, 1st Marquess of Rockingham (1693–1750), and added to by his heir.

In the nineteenth century it became the inherited family seat of the Earls Fitzwilliam, who exploited the coal reserves under their land to make the estate one of the wealthiest in the country, and yet the family took good care of their tenants, to the extent that their workers turned out in their hundreds for the funeral of the xxth xxxx and remained loyal after the coal board took over the family mines in the mid 20th century. The latter was a bleak time for both the house and family, as the estate was open-cast mined right up to the edge of the main lawn, allegedly at the instigation of Manny Shinwell, the then Labour Party's Minister of Fuel and Power. From 1949 to 1979, the house was home to a training college for female physical education teachers. In 1989 the family trustees sold the house, which is now owned by the Newbold family.
 
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