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Ramble No3 - Wentworth

Short circular route approx. 5 m. Long route approx. 7 m. This walk takes in two breweries, seven pubs, a steam railway & pump house, and several architectural gems and curios.

Start in Wentworth (227 bus) at the Rockingham Arms (1). The ivy clad pub, built in the 1700’s, is named after the Marquis of Rockingham. The beer range is usually Theakston Best Bitter, XB and Old Peculier, Courage Directors and John Smith’s Cask. Occasionally other Scottish - Courage brews are offered. The pub has a bowling green, beer garden and live music / folk club in the barn at the rear. There are also 13 rooms for let, and the extensive menu is very popular.

Leave the “Rock”, turning right, and head along Main Street for the centre of the village, past the picturesque Paradise Square. At the Village Shop (2), you can buy Wentworth bottled beers.

Opposite is the village’s other pub, The George & Dragon (3). No less than three Wentworth brews are on draught as well as Taylor’s Landlord, Stones Bitter, and two changing guest beers. There is a garden and children’s play area to the rear, and another wide menu at this excellent hostelry, the Pub of the Season Autumn 2000.

Continuing to the end of Main St. turn left up Church Drive to view the two churches. The old church dates from the 12th century, and is disused. The “new” church was built between 1875 and 1877 for the 6th Earl and Countess Fitzwilliam.

Retrace your steps back to the main road, and turn left on to what is now Barrow Hill. Follow the twisty B6090 as it becomes Dike Hill, taking care to keep well into the edge as it can be a busy road. After 1 mile, the village of Harley is reached, and the Horseshoe Inn (4) is on your left. Though no longer serving a guest beer, a good pint of John Smith’s Cask is served at what is the centre of the village community.

Turn right out of the Shoes and head back towards Wentworth. In approximately ½ m, take the narrow lane on the left, Mill Lane, and pass the Round House on your right, one of two former windmills on the Wentworth Estate which have been converted to houses. At the cross roads turn right on to Barrowfield Lane and, in about 200 yds, turn left at the entrance to Wentworth Sawmills and take the concrete road with a footpath sign.

Pass the sawmills and cross over a stream, then climb through scrub to a gateway. At a fork in the track, just inside King’s Wood, bear right and follow the path through Oak woods until another junction is reached. Bear left and descend through wood and through a gap in the boundary. Where a path joins from the left, proceed into the field heading to the left of a metal pylon. The pathway is not clearly defined. A gap in the wall ahead takes you on to a narrow track. Turn left out on to a road, then right at the next road until you reach the outskirts of Elsecar, having crossed the border into Barnsley district. Just before the junction you will see the Market Inn (5) on the right. Go in to this cosy old-fashioned many- roomed pub to enjoy the delights of Barnsley Bitter, brewed close by. Another Barnsley beer, or one from the Wentworth Brewery, may well be available.

Turn immediately left out of the pub on to Forge Lane, where you can visit the Elsecar Heritage Centre. The workshops were built between 1850 & 1860 to serve the coal mine and iron works. Here you will find craft workshops, historic vehicles, a steam railway, children’s activities, a Newcomen Beam Engine, and the Barnsley Brewery itself. Also worth a visit in Elsecar are the Miners’ Lodging House and Holy Trinity Church.

Return to Forge Lane and turn left out of the Heritage Centre. After 100 metres take the left hand fork, following the field boundary to the corner of King’s Wood. Follow the footpath which climbs the field and head for the pylon. Reach the stile at the top of the field and pass straight on under the power lines. If you look over to your right Keppel’s Column can be seen, built to celebrate Admiral Keppel’s acquittal of cowardice charges in 1778. In the far distance are the Pennine Hills. At the end of the field go through the stile on the right, and continue alongside the fence, and pass through two more stiles before reaching Lee Wood.

Look for a gateway on the right, leading through a hedge into an open area in which stands the Needle’s Eye. This folly is thought to date from 1722. and is said to have been built to settle a wager as to whether a coach and pair could be driven through the eye of a needle! Return to the path and go right, keeping alongside the wood, and go through the kissing gate into Coley Lane. Cross the road, and go down Street Lane opposite. Follow this past the cottages and, approximately 200 yds past the last cottage, take the signed path to the left and go diagonally across the field making for Hoober Stand, a triangular building fringed with trees. Bear right on the path, following a power line, and take the stile into the wood. Follow the left fork on to a broad track with Hoober Stand on the right. Continue until track reaches a rough lane at a gate. Turn right to view the Stand.

Built 1747-49 to celebrate the defeat of the Jacobite Rebellion, it stands 85 feet high and is 518 feet above sea level. It is occasionally open for viewing from the top. Return to the path and go right, descending on to a green lane. Cross a couple of stiles to reach Street Lane again. Turn right on to it and, at the cottages, look out for a footpath sign on the left. Go over the stile, and down the field, with a hedge on the right. In the distance, to the left, the Mausoleum can be seen.

At the bottom of the field go through the gate into the driveway of Cortworth House. Continue down the drive, to a gate, and turn right on to the B6090. When you come to the Wentworth sign you can see across the fields to the Needle’s Eye. Cross the road and go past the gateway into Wentworth Woodhouse Park.

On your left is the entrance way to a group of old estate buildings known as the Gun Park. The building on the left with the chimney, the old Powerhouse, is the Wentworth Brewery (6). Across the road is the second former windmill Round House on Clayfield Lane.

Now you may either return to Wentworth, or, for a longer walk, retrace your steps back to the park entrance and turn right into the park. On the right is the stable block, built for 84 horses, and designed by John Carr in 1768.

You can then view the impressive Palladian style East Front of Wentworth Woodhouse, built between 1725 and 1734. At 606 feet, it has reputedly the longest frontage of any country house in England. To the left can be glimpsed the deer park, where you might catch sight of the Roe Deer.

Go past the house and over the cattle grid. Where there’s a junction in the tracks, turn right and follow the track as it turns left. Continue straight on, with Temple Hill and another folly, the Doric Temple, on your right. After ½ m, a track joining from the left will take you to view the Mausoleum. Staying on the track, take the right fork and cross over a bridge between the ponds. Follow the track until it reaches a road, Church Street, turn left and head into Greasbrough. Go past the Milton, no real ale now, and visit the Yellow Lion (7) on the left where John Smith’s Cask is available. Turn left out of the pub, passing the church on your right, and, at the junction with Main Street, turn right. Pass the Ship, no real ale, and go straight on at the island.

Just past the island find the Crown (8) on the left. This welcoming former Wards pub now sells John Smith’s Magnet on hand pull, and also serves some good grub. From the Crown turn left and climb up Potter Hill a short distance to the Prince of Wales (9).

This little gem of a pub offers John Smith’s Cask on electric pump and an ever-changing guest from independent breweries, at only £1.50 pint, on handpump. All are served in lined oversize glasses. Just above the Prince are a selection of eateries, and buses back to Rotherham can be caught here.

Rambling Sid.

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