Interact with the past at Wentworth Woodhouse


By Vicky Prior


Visitors to Wentworth Woodhouse, a grand stately home just outside of Rotherham, will be transported to the past via a new installation by Wayne Sables Project. Walk through the halls and fabulous rooms of Wentworth Woodhouse and be surrounded by the past come to life, as servants appear and tell you about their work. For this slice of history is no ordinary day at Wentworth Woodhouse. It is the day of the Royal Visit in 1912, and there is much to do.


Secret triggers placed in doorways set off audio descriptions and video projections of actors playing the roles of the house’s servants. Rooms to explore include the Grand Ballroom, the Ship Room and some of the hallways. The installation provides an interactive way to learn more about Wentworth Woodhouse and the people who lived and worked there.


A brief history of Wentworth Woodhouse


Grade 1 listed country house with historic connections to the Kennedy family in America and Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg. Parts of the house date back to 1725 with extensions added in 1734 and remodelling at various points of the 19th century. It was the original home of Whistlejacket, the famous horse painting by George Stubbs that now hangs in the National Gallery. Whistlejacket was owned by Charles Watson-Wentworth, who also owned the house. Since 2016 the house has been owned by the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust. Various members of the Watson-Wentworth line have distinguished themselves in politics, and the family also owned numerous collieries in the area.


When royalty came to stay


In 1912 King George V and Queen Mary (the current Queen’s grandparents), visited the house. Other guests for the four day visit included the Archbishop of York, various local aristocrats, and an admiral. THe King gave a speech from the portico, witnessed by 25,000 locals. There was music from the Sheffield Musical Union and the Wentworth Choral Society and a torchlight tattoo by miners.


Wayne Sables Project and We Great Ladies


Wayne Sables was part of a team with We Great Ladies who worked with Wentworth Woodhouse to develop the interactive digital exhibition. Wayne created all the film and digital content for projection mapping, and set up the content triggers. We Great Ladies are a female duo of theatre performers and visual artists who created the content for Wayne to record.


How to visit


Wentworth Woodhouse is a stately home in the village of Wentworth, just outside Rotherham. If travelling by bus, take the 136 from Rotherham Interchange, the journey is approximately 30 mins and then there is a short walk to the house itself. Tickets for the house and gardens are £11 for a full adult ticket with Gift Aid, concession tickets are available. Follow this link to book tickets.