Neglected stately home gets visit from prince

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THE Prince of Wales has made a private visit to one of Yorkshire’s most threatened stately homes, which is seeking £100m in a protracted legal case.

Last month the owners of Wentworth Woodhouse secured a milestone in their battle with the Coal Authority over claims for extensive subsidence damage to the huge property.

This week, however, the Coal Authority will see leave to appeal against the decision by the Court of Appeal.

It comes as it was reported the Prince had spoken to Ministers about the stately home, near Rotherham.

The Grade I listed building is the largest private residence in Europe and is described by Marcus Binney, the chairman of Save Britain’s Heritage, as “one of the most magnificent of all English country houses, palatial in size and of breath-taking splendour both inside and out”.

Built over a 25-year period from 1724 for Thomas Watson-Wentworth, Marquess of Rockingham, its East Front, at 615ft long, is twice as wide as Buckingham Palace and is the longest country house façade in Europe.

The house includes 365 rooms, over 1,000 windows, five miles of underground passageways and covers an area of over 2.5 acres.

The prince’s office confirmed his interest in the house, but said he was not directly involved in the restoration campaign.

A spokesman for the Newbold family said: “There’s a huge amount of goodwill from people who want to see the restoration of one of Britain’s finest houses.”