Believed to have been the inspiration for “Pemberley Estate” in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, England’s largest privately owned residence has been purchased for $8.732 million (£7 million), Mansion Global reported.
“Wentworth Woodhouse,” the 250,000-square-foot Georgian-style mansion, resides on 82 expansive acres of gardens, parkland, and woodland, the listing states. With a 600-foot-long front, the home was named in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest private estate in the country.
The Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust estimates that it will spend over $50 million (£40 million) in restoration of the historic property, located near Rotherham in South Yorkshire.
Built by the Marquesses of Rockingham between 1725 and 1750, the home is comprised of over 350 rooms and space enough to employ more than 1,000 staff, with hallways that stretch for miles.
A cantilevered staircase ascends to the “Marble Saloon,” once recognized as the finest Georgian-style room in England. It is a 60-foot square hall, with marble floors and 40-foot-high, plasterwork ceilings by Jonathan and Joseph Rose.
English architect John Carr was commissioned by the Second Marquess of Rockingham to build the “Palladian Stables and Riding School,” beginning in 1766. Designed in ashlar and golden sandstone, the stables were taken over by the army during World War II. In the late 1940s, they were converted into classrooms, and the riding school became a gym facility.
The National Heritage Memorial provided a $4,353,300 (£3.5 million) grant toward the property purchase, while the rest of the funds came from donations, according to the trust’s statement.
The estate––which has hosted English royalty, including young Queen Victoria––holds a Grade 1 designation, the highest grade granted to buildings of historic interest. Plans for preservation of the residence have been a 5-year undertaking, says Julie Kenny, the trust chair. Those plans include restoring its gardens, offering tours of the residence, and converting the stables into offices for local business.
“It has been a privilege to have been involved with the sale of what is widely regarded as one of the most magnificent houses in England,” says listing agent Crispin Holborow of Savills. “It was always the wish of our clients, the Newbold family, that the house should end up in safe hands, and I am delighted this is now the case.”
Image courtesy of Savills