This house is so large that, very hypothetically, if you had a crush on the boy who lived there, once again hypothetically, you could go on a family vacation in his backyard and then be surprised when you ran into him. For those of you who aren't familiar with this particular plot line of Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen's masterpiece of 1800s chick lit, that means Wentworth Woodhouse, the house Jane Austen's Pemberley was based on, is really large. The home, which is being sold by Savils for £7M ($11.1M) took so long to build that the home's west front remains Baroque, while the east façade takes on the Palladian style popular in the mid-18th century. Wentworth Woodhouse is twice as large as Buckingham Palace, houses more than five miles of hallway, has the same number of rooms as there are days in the year (365), boasts the longest façade of any privately owned home in Europe, and, in 1841, employed up to 1,000
serfs people, which was both literally and figuratively a village.
The Wentworths, who were essentially the Kardashians of Regency England, produced one of the country's Prime Ministers and, according to the Daily Mail, "the man who [most likely] inspired Mr. Darcy." The names of this South Yorkshire clan might also seem familiar to anyone who has scrawled Mrs. Darcy into their 8th grade English notebook—Wentworth, Woodhouse, Fitzwilliam, Darcy, Watson, and Vernon—are all names of Austen's protagonists and members of the Wentworth dynasty. So, lets all tell this house how we really feel about it: "My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you."
Built by the First Marquess of Rockingham in 1725 and later owned by the late Earl Fitzwilliam in 1979, the estate was bought by Paul, Marcus and Giles Newbold in 1999 for a mere $1.5M. The house, which is probably sick of being called "large" and would probably prefer to be annexed as a small country, is the BBC's stand-in manor for a plethora of historic period pieces. Like a fading child star, it's available for bat mitzvahs, weddings, and baby showers.
Occupied by the military during WWII and used for open-shaft mining after the war, the home has crumbling foundations, while the rooms are a whisper of their former selves. One Daily Mail reporter finds the rooms strewn with empty portrait frames, buckets for collecting leaks, peeling paint, a bevy of cracks, and Spartan canteen cutlery on the table.
Upon entering the "low drawing room," which is actually two stories tall, she remarks, "I find a smart new library. This turns out to be a plywood job left over from an upcoming BBC period drama." Ouch. The house has over $42M worth of repair, so does anybody want it? Full disclosure, it has a bear pit.
Photo of the West facade via Wikipedia
Yours for £7million, a Stately Home That Makes Downton Look Modest [Daily Mail]
Owners of Wentworth Woodhouse stately home make £100m insurance claim as building sinks into ground [Daily Mail]
All Castle posts [Curbed National]
A Janecation in Yorkshire? [Jane Austen In Vermont]