Listing Upgrade for obelisk at Wentworth Castle Gardens 

8th July 2024

A familiar monument found in the gardens of Wentworth Castle, which honours the achievements of medical pioneer Lady Mary Wortley, was upgraded in December 2023 to Grade II* by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, on the advice of Historic England. 

The upgrade has elevated the obelisk, commonly known as the Sun monument, to amongst the top 10% of England’s most important historic sites and reflects the significance of Lady Mary’s contribution to tackling one of the deadliest diseases in history, smallpox. 

Lady Mary introduced inoculation to Britain and championed the practice, and so was instrumental in saving many lives three quarters of a century before Edward Jenner introduced the smallpox vaccination. 

The Obelisk is highly unusual in that, in the early-mid 1700’s, it was dedicated to a lady who was neither royal nor a member of the Wentworth family. Lady Mary’s story is important to medical history and deserves to be more widely known.  

On your next visit to Wentworth Castle Gardens why not admire the obelisk and then move on to discover some of the other 25 listed buildings and monuments that feature throughout the estate. 

Listing Upgrade for obelisk at Wentworth Castle Gardens