The Rich Man & The Needle's Eye

The Rich Man & The Needle's Eye - Mono Landscapes
The Rich Man & The Needle's Eye

On the hillside overlooking the old stately home of Wentworth Woodhouse, on the crossroads of two old coaching roads, sits this curious pyramid shaped gateway. The date of it's construction is unknown but local legend has it that it was built by Charles Watson-Wentworth, the 2nd Marquess of Rockingham (1730-1782), to win a wager that he could drive a coach and horses through the eye of a needle.

Watson-Wentworth was one of the richest men in Britain and served two terms as Prime Minister. During the 1745 Jacobite uprising, his father made him a colonel in charge of a volunteer defence force. He rode to Carlisle to join the Duke of Cumberland (or Butcher Cumberland as he was known to the Jacobites) in pursuit of Charles Stewart.

The eastern face of the pyramid displays what are thought to be musket ball holes, it has been supposed, caused by execution by firing squad.

When the wind whistles around this lonely hill top, you can almost hear the rattle of an approaching coach and horses.

St John The Evangelist, Oulton

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