Wynyard Park, County Durham
Wynyard Park, sometimes known as Wynyard Hall is a large country house in County Durham, England. The house used to be the family seat of the Vane-Tempest-Stewart family, Marquesses of Londonderry, an Anglo-Irish aristocratic dynasty, but it was sold in the 1980s.

The house
Designed by Philip Wyatt and built 1822-28, the entrance front has 13 bays with a 6-column giant Corinthian Portico. The Entrance Hall looked like that of Mount Stewart, the family's estate in Northern Ireland. It has a coffered segmental tunnel vault with apses at both ends and in the middle, suspended from the ceiling there was a large crystal chandelier. The main octagonal centre 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 vast callroom similar to that of the family's London residence, Londonderry House. The family wing of the mansion was nicknamed the Dukes Wing as it was named after the Duke of Wellington and his visit. This side of the house also held the Duke's Gallery; the place the family housed their famed art collection when not in London.

As one first sees the house you can see many statues in the entrance court outside the house and in the distance there is an Obelisk. The vast obelisk, 127 feet (39 m) high, commemorates the visit of the Duke of Wellington in 1827. At its height in the 19th century, the Wynyard Estate occupied 7,000 acres (2,800 ha) in Teesside. The grounds today include a 15-acre (61,000 m 2) ornamental lake, a walled garden, two entrance lodges, three cottages, a former racing yard, and productive farmland.

Brief history
The mansion was started by Benjamin Wyatt and completed by Philip Wyatt for the third Marquess of Londonderry, a famous coal magnate and founder of Seaham Harbour. The Marquess spent the then enormous sum of £130,000 to build and furnish the House. In 1841, just as the mansion was being completed, a fire broke out and gutted the house; it was later restored and remodelled by Ignatius Bonomi. There had been a house on the site since the Middle Ages, and the 3rd Marquess incorporated parts of an earlier 18th century building into his house. In the 19th century, George Vane-Tempest, who became Earl Vane in 1854 and the 5th Marquess of Londonderry in 1872, owned vast estates: 27,000 acres (11,000 ha) in Ireland and 23,000 acres (9,300 ha) in England and Wales; he also sat in the House of Commons as a Member of Parliament 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, Lady Londonderry, who was the model for the famous Lady Roehampton in Vita Sackville-West's The Edwardians. 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 through sales and breakages. The estate was sold in 1987 to Sir John Hall, along with 5,000 acres (2,000 ha). Hall spent £4 million to restore the house, hiring Rupert Lord to oversee the restoration; he later moved his company headquarters, as well as his home, into the mansion. The estate, comprising the house and 780 acres (320 ha) of parkland, was listed for sale in July 2002 for £8 million.

Royal Visits
The Prince and Princess of Wales (later King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra) were frequent visitors to Wynyard. It was at Wynyard that the Royal Council was held in the early nineteenth century.

Living in Wynyard
There are three areas of housing development - approximately 800 properties in all - within the former Wynyard Estate: Wynyard Village, Wynyard Woods and Wynyard Park. These are all south of the A689 road. Wynyard Estates residents include Duncan Bannatyne, and many famous footballers including Andrew Davies and Malcolm Christie. Ex residents include Kevin Keegan, Sheila Bradley & Alan Mitchell Alan Shearer (moved to Darras Hall), and Michael Gell. There is a successful golf club on Wellington Drive. Wynyard land north of the A689 has been acquired by Chris Musgrave (a Hartlepool businessman). Some of this land was previously occupied by Samsung, the electronics giant. It is now known as Wynyard Park. There are plans to build an eco housing estate and these have been given the go ahead by planners. The plans include 2000 houses, a 3* hotel, and a 5* modern business hotel. A further plan to build a £464 million state-of-the-art hospital on the site has recently been cancelled by the UK coalition Government as part of its cost-cutting programme.