Summer Excursions 2024

Wentworth Woodhouse Friday July 5th

Place: Wentworth Woodhouse, near Rotherham
Time : 9am at the King Lane ,Leeds 17, Park and Ride
          9.30 at the layby near the Playhouse/City College
Cost : to include coach, entrance and exclusive tour, tea/coffee £40

Wentworth Woodhouse       black diamonds       Wentworth Woodhouse
Wentworth Woodhouse is a magnificent Georgian Mansion built by Thomas Wentworth Marquis of Rockingham. It comprises of two houses back to back and its front facade is wider than that of the Palace of Versailles. The Rockinghams were a powerful Whig family and the second Marquis was Prime Minister twice. It was inherited by The Earls Fitzwilliam in 1782 and remained in their hands until 1948 when the earl was killed in a plane crash along with Kathleen Kennedy. It became a teacher training College then part of Sheffield Poly before being sold to a private purchaser. It is now owned by a Trust.

There are 50 acres of garden and the house has been used in many films and tv series, including Downtown Abbey.

Black Diamonds by Catherine Bailey
Our tour will be based on this account of the Fitzwilliams, and the impact of coal mining. The estate straddles the Barnsley Coal seam. By 1902 tens of thousands of south Yorkshire were dependent on the 6th Earl Fizwilliam for their living and they turned up in droves for his funeral. However the family had many secrets during the twentieth century and their archives were deliberately destroyed. I recommend you read( or reread) the book before our visit.

After the tour you will have time to visit other rooms and the gardens. There is a cafe and shop.

Tea/coffee and biscuits have been included and will be served before we start the tour

Guided Tour round Chapel Allerton July 14th

Meeting Place: By the Willow tree in the centre of Chapel Allerton
Time: 10.30am to12.30pm
Guide: Rachel Unsworth
Cost : £12

Chapel Allerton from village to suburb
Urban geographer and walking tour guide Rachael Unsworth is working with historian Steve Burt on a book about the whole historic township of Chapel Allerton, drawing on archive material and other sources never previously tapped.
This tour, taking a route of about two miles in the central area, shows the interplay of continuity and change in creating the contemporary scene. It includes present-day dilemmas about conserving heritage while contending with economic, demographic & environmental pressures.

Meet in the ‘village square’ near the willow tree.
Exact location:

Afterwards you can eat your packed lunch in the local Park or visit the many local cafes.

Please download and complete the Booking Form and either return the form to Mrs Diane Taylor, 20 Nunroyd Road, Leeds LS17 6PF, with a cheque payable to the Thoresby Society, or by emailing Diane at, giving your name, email address and phone number. In this case you can pay by a bank transfer online, or by cheque or cash on the day of the excursion.