Natural slate roofing from the UK’s leading producer, Cumbria-based Burlington, has been used to help restore Wentworth Castle - one of the UK’s most important historical buildings which lies at the heart of South Yorkshire’s Stainborough Park.

Having benefited from a £10.5 million regeneration package granted by the Heritage Lottery Fund that has been used to not only improve the Grade I listed Wentworth Castle but 26 other listed structures located on the Stainborough Estate, Burlington’s Blue/Grey Kirkby roofing slate has been used to help renew the Castle’s entire roof covering.

With £2.5 million of the total grant being dedicated solely to the regeneration of Wentworth Castle, Burlington’s Blue Grey Kirkby slate was specified for the project by architects, designers and historic building consultants, Purcell, Miller, Tritton LLR. As architect, Stephen Elliott comments: “The Burlington slate has been used to replace a Nuralite covering that had been laid nearly 25 years ago as a cheap measure to protect the roof, however this was in very poor condition and was already showing signs of leaking.

“We specified Burlington for the project as they can offer slates of the quality and finish which is in keeping with those used on historic buildings of this kind. What’s more, Burlington’s Blue/Grey Kirkby slate matched the original colour found on Wentworth Castle. As a result, we have been able to restore the roof back to its original appearance,” he added.

Installed by specialist roofing and lead work contractors, Lawson Peel of Batley, West Yorkshire, approximately 820sq m of Blue/Grey Kirkby slate has been used to cover over 50% of the roof space which now features alongside traditional stone slate that was already in place and sand cast lead. Burlington’s specialist roof ventilation slates were also specified for the Wentworth Castle project.

The task of fitting the natural slate roofing proved particularly difficult on this project as the roofs were pitched at a twenty-degree angle, the maximum to which slates can be adhered.

Featuring the finest gardens in South Yorkshire and some of the best in the country, Wentworth Castle is today home to the Northern College for Residential Adult Education and houses teaching, administrative, social facilities and student accommodation. Money spent on renovating the buildings and gardens serves to reflect 300 years of landscape design and the building’s trust is predicting some 40,000 visitors in its first year of opening. Standing as the most important building on the Stainborough Park site, Wentworth Castle forms a rectangular on plan and was built in four distinct phases, each of which exhibits its own architectural and aesthetic expression:

· Classical vernacular 'Cutler House' (north wing) built in 1670-72 for St Gervase Cutler.
· Baroque east wing built in 1710-20 and designed by Johann Bodt for Thomas Wentworth.
· Palladian south and west wing built circa 1760 under the guidance of Charles Ross for William Wentworth.
· Victorian extension to west wing built in 1897.

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