Bedlam, a suite of rooms once reserved for ‘boisterous Georgian bachelors’ at Wentworth Woodhouse mansion in Rotherham, could soon become one of the UK’s most prestigious business lettings.
There are plans to convert Bedlam into rental space, attractive to both national PLCs and local businesses. When the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust took over the Grade II listed manor house in 2017, decades of neglect had left one of the finest houses in the UK in what it described as ‘unfortunately’.
Bedlam’s roof, along with those of the manor’s chapel and riding school, was one of the first to be tackled when £7.5m in investment works and emergency repairs were completed at the end of 2018 Historic England.
After 15 months of work, the Trust can now pursue its goal of converting Bedlam into commercial rental space. The Trust hopes that a wide range of companies will share its address, from national companies looking for a ‘prestigious’ setting for their headquarters, to specialists in monuments and the digital and creative industries.
CEO Sarah McLeod commented: “Our priority is to use the spaces we have at Wentworth Woodhouse to generate a healthy income for our ongoing restoration work and to stimulate the local economy.
“When we launched our master plan in 2018, Bedlam was earmarked for commercial office rentals. It occupies a prime location adjacent to the State Rooms on our famous East Front and this stunning and impressive location offers easy access to the M1, M18 and A1 motorways.
“The fact that the name was adopted at Wentworth Woodhouse gives a glimpse of the hustle and bustle that happened at that wing,” commented WWPT historian David Allott.
‘In Georgian and Victorian times young masters of the house slept there, as did visiting bachelors and their male servants. The rooms would be well furnished, comfortable and a safe distance from those occupied by single women.”
When the rooms became dormitories at Lady Mabel College of Physical Education from 1950 to 1977, the male-only domain was switched to female-only.
However, it could be three or four years before Bedlam’s next residents arrive. A change of use from residential to commercial would need approval from Rotherham Borough Council and requires extensive repairs and refurbishment.
By Matthew Neville – Correspondent, Bdaily
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