DiCamillo Companion

Wynyard Hall (Wynyard Park)

  • Earlier Houses: There has been a house on this site since the Middle Ages; the 18th century house was incorporated into the existing house.

    Built / Designed For: 3rd Marquess of Londonderry

    House & Family History: Wynyard is a large house--the Entrance Façade is 13 bays with a six-column giant Corinthian portico. The mansion was started in the early 19th century by Benjamin Wyatt and completed by Philip Wyatt for the 3rd Marquess of Londonderry, a famous coal magnate and founder of Seaham Harbor. The marquess spent the then-enormous sum of £130,000 to build and furnish the House, approximately £103 million in 2016 inflation-adjusted values using the labour value commodity index. In 1841, just as the mansion was being completed, a fire broke out and gutted the house; it was later restored and remodeled. The Entrance Hall has a coffered segmental tunnel vault with apses at both ends. The main octagonal center hall extends the full height of the House and has a dome with caryatids around it and a skylight. There is also a mirrored Drawing Room with a gilded and painted ceiling, and a Ballroom. In the 19th century Sir George Vane-Tempest, who became Earl Vane in 1854 and the 5th Marquess of Londonderry in 1872, owned vast estates: 27,000 acres in Ireland and 23,000 acres in England and Wales; he also sat in the House of Commons as an MP for 26 years. Upon the death of the 5th Marquess in 1884 his eldest son, Charles, became the 6th Marquess; it was the 6th Marquess's wife, Theresa, Lady Londonderry, who was the model for the famous Lady Roehampton in Vita Sackville-West's "The Edwardians." The Prince and Princess of Wales (later King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra) were frequent visitors to Wynyard. The Estate remained in the Londonderry family until 1987, though it was let as a training school for teachers from 1945 until 1960, during which time it lost most of its original contents. The Estate was sold in 1987 to Sir John Hall, along with 5,000 acres. Sir John spent £4 million to restore the House, hiring Rupert Lord to oversee the restoration; he later moved his company headquarters into the mansion (he was chairman and majority shareholder of Newcastle United football club). In 1993, when he retired, Sir John passed the House on to his son, Douglas, but continued to live in a smaller wing. In March 2002 3,000 acres of the Estate were sold for about £10 million when the family company, Cameron Hall Developments, had financial problems (Wynyard Hall Golf Course had also been sold). In July of 2002 the House and 780 acres of parkland, were listed for sale for £8 million, but failed to sell. In December of 2002 further lands were sold. Other areas of the Estate are being developed into business parks, residential housing, and golf courses; the 500-acre Wynyard Business Park was sold in 2005. In 2007 the Hall family, having revitalized the House's public rooms, embarked on the long-term restoration of the House's grounds and landscape as part of opening the House for private functions and public events, and, eventually, converting it into a 200-bedroom hotel, conference center, and golf course.

    Collections: The Londonderry silver was sold to the Royal Pavilion, Brighton, for £250,000. Bernardo Bellotto’s two "Views of the Castle of Königstein" were purchased by Manchester City Art Galleries. A large portrait painted in 1904 by John Singer Sargent entitled "Charles Stewart, Sixth Marquess of Londonderry, Carrying the Great Sword of State at the Coronation of King Edward VII, August, 1902, and Mr. W.C. Beaumont, His Page on That Occasion," formerly in the Ballroom at Londonderry House, is today in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; it was acquired by the museum in 2003.

    Comments: Pevsner, in "The Buildings of England: County Durham," calls Wynyard "the most splendid 19th century mansion in the county."

  • Garden & Outbuildings: At its height in the 19th century, the Wynyard Estate occupied 7,000 acres in Teeside. The grounds today include a 15-acre lake, a walled garden, two entrance lodges, three cottages, a former racing yard, and productive farmland. Extant is an obelisk, 127 feet high, commemorating a visit of the 1st Duke of Wellington to Wynyard in 1827.

    Chapel & Church: The Chapel burned in the 19th century and was restored by an architect by the name of Brooks. In was restored again between 1903 and 1905.

  • Architect: John Green Sr.

    Date: 1831
    Designed: Suspension bridge in Park

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    Architect: Thomas Liddell

    Date: Circa 1855
    Designed: Classical room in memory of 3rd Marquess of Londonderry

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    Architect: Christopher Ebdon

    Date: 1805
    Designed: Alterations to earlier house

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    Architect: Philip William Wyatt

    Date: 1822-30
    Designed: House, based on Benjamin Dean Wyatt's designs for 3rd Marquess of Londonderry

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    Architect: Rupert Lord

    Date: 1980s
    Designed: Oversaw £4 million restoration of House for Sir John Hall

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    Architect: John Augustus Cory

    Date: 1842-44
    Designed: Together w/Bonomi, restored House after 1840 fire for 3rd Marquess of Londonderry

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    Architect: Ignatius Bonomi

    Date: 1842-44
    Designed: Together w/Cory, restored House after 1840 fire for 3rd Marquess of Londonderry

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  • Country Life: Aug 28, 1986. Sep 4, 1986.

  • Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - SOFTBACK
    Author: Colvin, Howard
    Year Published: 1995
    Reference: pgs. 140, 329, 428, 617, 1124
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 0300072074
    Book Type: Softback

    Title: Buildings of England: County Durham, The
    Author: Pevsner, Nikolaus
    Year Published: 1953 (originally softback)
    Publisher: London: Penguin Books
    ISBN: NA
    Book Type: Softback

    Title: Country Life (magazine)
    Author: NA
    Year Published: NA
    Reference: Jul 11, 2002, pg. 104
    Publisher: London: Future plc
    ISBN: NA
    Book Type: Magazine

    Title: Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage, 1990
    Author: Kidd, Charles; Williamson, David (Editors)
    Year Published: 1990
    Reference: pg. P 762
    Publisher: London: Debrett's Peerage Limited (New York: St. Martin's Press, Inc.)
    ISBN: 0312046405
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: Disintegration of a Heritage: Country Houses and their Collections, 1979-1992, The
    Author: Sayer, Michael
    Year Published: 1993
    Publisher: Norfolk: Michael Russell (Publishing)
    ISBN: 0859551970
    Book Type: Hardback

  • House Listed: Grade II*

    Park Listed: Grade II*

  • "The Black Velvet Gown" (1991 - TV movie). "The Aristocracy" (1997 - BBC TV documentary mini series).
  • Past Seat / Home of: Charles William Vane, 3rd Marquess of Londonderry, 19th century; George Henry Robert Charles William Vane-Tempest, 5th Marquess of Londonderry, 19th century; Vane-Tempest family here until 1987. Sir John Hall, 1987-2007.

    Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Wedding & Event Venue

  • House Open to Public: By Appointment

    Phone: 01740-644-811

    Fax: 01740-644-769

    Email: [email protected]

    Website: https://www.wynyardhall.co.uk/

    Historic Houses Member: No