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New fundraising campaign gives supporters chance to to Forge a Link with Wentworth Woodhouse

By May 22, 2023No Comments
Hand-forged chain links ready for stamping on a Ridgeway Forge anvil

Link your loved ones to Wentworth Woodhouse in a way which will last the tests of time…

That’s the message behind the Forge A Link Campaign, the latest fundraising initiative from the charitable trust regenerating the Rotherham stately home.

Launching on Sunday May 21 during Local and Community History Month, the campaign gives supporters the chance to have their initials hand-stamped onto a huge chain being hand-created especially for the mansion’s famed East Front.

Around 154 metres-long, the steel chain replicates one which featured on the 606 feet-long facade for almost two centuries and only a small section can still be seen, attached to the mansion’s steps.

Each of the 1,800 links will be stamped with up to three initials in recognition of people who make donation of £50 or more and it’s hoped the Forge A Link campaign could bring in £40,000 before it closes in November.

The chain will continue the restoration of original ironwork features which grace the grand Palladian-style frontage and supporters will be able to follow a map to find their initials when they visit.

Thanks to the skilled work of heritage craftsmen, the 606-feet facade is now illuminated at night by six beautifully restored lamp standards, which date from the first half of the 19th Century.

The 350kg chain, the length of one and a half football pitches, will link the towering lamp standards and 41 carved stone balusters, which are also being restored.

Its 1,800 links are being individually made to time-honoured methods by Ridgeway Forge in Attercliffe over the next six months or so.

Andrew Renwick, owner of Ridgeway Forge, told how his team helped to create the campaign concept: “We love playing a part in the restoration of this beautiful house. We repaired the lamp standards, which was a very difficult but rewarding task, and when the Trust asked us to make the chain, we mentioned we could stamp each one and the fundraising idea was born.”

Sarah McLeod, the Preservation Trust’s CEO, said: “The campaign gives everyone who loves Wentworth Woodhouse the chance to make a mark which will last for a century or more.

“It’s a lovely way for couples and families to have their initials entwined in history. They can be forged together for a wedding, or for special anniversaries. There are so many reasons for supporting this campaign.

“In 2018 our Make Your Mark in History campaign gave hundreds of people the chance to have messages engraved on our new roof slates. What makes the Forge A Link campaign special is that donors will be able to see their marks every time they visit.”

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