We’re lucky to have an extensive historical archive of the family including letters, diaries and photographs. This provides a glimpse of the personalities and lifestyles of the different family members and is also a great record of how the estate was run and the family’s role in Barnsley, Yorkshire and Britain. The archives are kept at Barnsley Archives and Local Studies – click on the Archives link above to find out more.
John Spencer, who loved his books, sport and fine dining, was responsible for adding two ground floor wings to the building in the 18th century, creating the Library and Dining Room. His nephew and heir, Walter Spencer Stanhope was a supporter and friend of William Wilberforce. He and his wife Mary Winifred had so many children they added further rooms to the upper floors in the early 19th century to fit everyone in. Later members of the family John Roddam Spencer Stanhope and his nieces Gertrude Spencer Stanhope and Evelyn De Morgan were all renowned artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was in the late 19th century that the final additions to the house were made, including a ballroom, kitchens and servant quarters.