We Great Place

WE (Wentworth & Elsecar) Great Place was a four-year partnership between Barnsley Council, Rotherham Council and the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust.

The project delivered a range of exciting activities inspired by the awe-inspiring Wentworth Woodhouse and the Earl Fitzwilliam’s incredible model industrial village at Elsecar. It was funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England (ACE). 

For more information about these and all of our major projects visit Barnsley Museums Major Projects

WE Great Place project ended in Spring 2021 but leaves behind, a much stronger, more resilient culture, heritage and arts partnership across Barnsley and Rotherham that has Wentworth Woodhouse and Elsecar at its heart - inspired by the graft, creativity and innovation that has gone before while curating a contemporary and inclusive path forward.  Being part of the Great Place programme has given WE space and resource to experiment, try fresh approaches and most important of all, learn. Over the last four years WE brought world-class artists and performers to Barnsley and Rotherham to help tell the stories of our shared heritage, got under the skin of South Yorkshire’s past and celebrated what’s great about Barnsley and Rotherham.  From show-stopping festivals for audiences of thousands to life-changing experiences for individuals, WE has put our wonderous heritage at the heart of communities and of making change happen. 

Man Engine sculpture with crowds around - a giant neon man being controlled by people on the ground.

Man Engine was one of the many events organised by the WE Great Place Project to celebrate Barnsley’s proud mining heritage. The Man Engine, a 36ft (11m) tall miner visited as part of its 2018 Resurrection Tour. It is the largest mechanical puppet ever constructed in Britain and won the prestigious National Lottery Awards Best Arts Project in 2017. Cllr Roy Miller, Barnsley Council’s Cabinet Spokesperson for Place, said in 2017: “The arrival of Man Engine celebrates the iron and coal industrial heritage of both Elsecar and Wentworth in a big coming-together event."

Feedback from visitors was great!

We had a fantastic time and our first visit to Wentworth Woodhouse. We hope there will be similar events in the future. Loved it!

Always a pleasure to visit this wonderful place and the Man Engine was amazing.

Image taken by photographer James Mulkeen. 

The 2018 Tour de Yorkshire was a four-day cycling stage race held in Yorkshire over 3-6 May 2018. The race cycled through the village and past Elsecar Heritage Centre. The WE Great Place Project and Artist in Residence Gemma Nemer decorated the village with blue and yellow bunting and amazing artwork to welcome the cyclists to Elsecar.