Quaint village owned by aristocratic family where all doors are green and locals can't buy homes

Main Street with its doors all painted 'Wentworth green'
-Credit: (Image: Samuel Port)


A picturesque village that works hard to honour its heritage "forces" residents to have their doors painted the same colour. Wentworth is tucked away in the rolling hills near Rotherham, and is known for its history and architectural beauty.

The Yorkshire village appears frozen in time due to its struct regulations, with every inhabitant made to conform to the local rules, which are set by the Fitzwilliam Wentworth Amenity Trust, a subsidiary of the Fitzwilliam Wentworth Estate.

The trust has held sway over the village for nearly 300 years, acting as the landlords of this hamlet, where they own 95 per cent of the properties. The estate is currently owned by Sir Philip Naylor-Leyland Bt., grandson of the 10th Earl Fitzwilliam, and Lady Juliet Tadgell, daughter of the 8th Earl Fitzwilliam.

When a newcomer moves into Wentworth, they meet with the trust and are told that any alterations must get approval. The tight guidelines are enforced to maintain the historical nature of the village, Yorkshire Live reports.

Unlike the vast majority of British settlements, the hamlet has no takeaways or neon shop signs - there isn't even a supermarket. There is, however, a village shop, providing sandwiches, milk, jam, and various essentials, as well as two pubs and a restaurant.

It's quaint nature draws in tourists from across the UK, with many heading to the stately home of Wentworth Woodhouse or going to the Wentworth Garden Centre, the pride of many of the villagers.

And while the Georgian architecture - with its wooden beamed cottages, off-white window frames, and doors and drainpipes painted 'Wentworth green' to match the village's historic livery - is a sight to behold for visitors, it can be a bit much at times for those who live and work there.

Matt Thompson, manager at Lightfoot Wines on Main Street
Matt Thompson, manager at Lightfoot Wines on Main Street -Credit:Samuel Port

Matt Thompson, 44, has managed Lightfoot Wines on Wentworth Main Street since 2016, and says the village is "kept in check". Matt, who keeps the intoxicating aura of Wentworth at arm's length by living elsewhere, said: “It’s forced to be [traditional] because of the rules the estate has to abide by, everything has to be uniform. Hence all the 'Wentworth green'.

The 1,400 residents are mostly tenants, as they are unlikely ever to own their properties, which are run by the trust. Matt said: “There’s lots of people who have lived here their entire lives. They were born here and they’ll die here.

"There are some old draconian rules where you can pass the rent down to the next generation, and that will be like peppercorn rent – but the minute a bloodline dies out, the rent goes up.”

Opposite Matt's wine store is The Village Shop, which was run by Craig and Zoe Horner for the best part of two decades. Craig, an ardent supporter of the strict rules, said: “Once you introduce one thing then it snowballs, and before you know it, you’ve got neon signs, chip shops and all sorts – which they would never allow anything like that.”

Craig Horner outside The Village Shop
Craig Horner outside The Village Shop -Credit:Samuel Port

The 54-year-old added: “It’s a quaint quiet little village owned by a trust that likes to, as far is it can, keep things as it always has done. Certain things like the door colours, the lamps.”

Zoe, who believes that "you have to go with change", said: “They stick to the old traditions of village fetes and things like that. It’s very much an old traditional village. There are new people coming in who have got a lot of new ideas, but they still keep the village traditions.”

Alexander Davies-Terry became the village’s new Head of Estate in late 2022. He has been described as a "forward thinker" and is working on a "new vision" for the future of Wentworth.

But he is aware that every decision he makes is a "keen balancing act", keeping the traditional residents and tourists happy with the village's historic style, while also ensuring new business can thrive.

Giving an insight into how he welcomes new residents, Alexander said: “I meet with everyone who moves into a property in Wentworth. We sit, have a chat and I sort of explain the ownership and how the trust wants to preserve the historical aspects and architecture of Wentworth.

“We explain how we operate and what they can expect from us and how we have a building surveyor employed, and he has assistants or technicians, and they can go to them for repairs and also for bigger issues. Or if they want to make alterations, they can come to us and we’ll have a discussion about it.”

Alexander says he has had no issues with anyone over the uniform doors. He said: “With the green doors, you drive through Wentworth and all the doors are green and that’s part of the heritage and signifies it as an estate property. It’s an estate village, we’re not unique in being an estate village.

"You can find villages that have all blue doors – an estate I used to work on had all marine doors. It’s an aesthetic choice, some people might not like the green, but I think a lot of people like the status of living in an estate house or living within Wentworth.”

And while there are some grumblings about the rules, most villagers are happy to abide by them. They believe it gives Wentworth a unique appeal - and helps it look as beautiful as it does.

Georgia Flintoft, 20, said: “I think [the doors are] lovely, everyone knows it’s Wentworth as soon as you come here. You don’t have a choice about it [the green paint]. It makes everyone feel part of a community as we’re all in it together.”

Nick Kenworthy, a grandfather with a disability, moved to Wentworth for a peaceful life in a bungalow. The 67-year-old said: “It’s what you want, I’m quite happy with nowt going on.

"If I wanted to live somewhere where there was plenty going on, I’d live somewhere else, wouldn’t I? We have two pubs in a short distance. It’s lovely up here.”

In Wentworth, time stands still, safeguarded by a trust that ensures its residents are forever captivated by the village's remarkable allure. As modern life surges forward, this charming oasis remains a testament to the enduring beauty of days gone by.

Don't miss the latest news from around Scotland and beyond. Sign up to our daily newsletter .