From the beginning
Following its initial lease by King Edward I to Sir Hugh de Chapell in 1230, several prominent families owned the Wynyard Estate over the decades. However, Wynyard Hall as we know it today was not completed until 1846.
In 1813, the previous estate had accumulated a considerable fortune earned through coal mining. It was then inherited by Frances Anne Vane Tempest. Her marriage in 1819 to Charles Stewart marked the beginning of the Londonderry connection with Wynyard.
Elevation to the title of 3rd Marquess required a grand house befitting their new status.
Designed by Philip Wyatt and Ignatius Bonomi, Wynyard Hall incorporates French and Italian marble, Spanish mahogany, stone from the family quarry, and exquisite stained glass. The elaborate interior design is a reflection of the extravagant style, popular during the reign of the French king, Louis XIV.
The magnificent hall and its surroundings provided the perfect setting for lavish entertainment, fit for only the most important and influential people in the land.
Generations of Londonderrys hosted everyone from royalty to writers and artists. Subsequent holders of the title, particularly the 5th, 6th, and 7th Marquesses, developed the estate further. Unfortunately, as the 20th century rolled on, crippling death duties and loss of mining income took its toll.
After inheriting the title in 1955 at the age of 18, the 9th Marquess found himself unable to maintain the Londonderry family seat. In 1987, he sold the Wynyard Estate to Sir John Hall. As a property developer and former owner of Newcastle United football club, Sir John immediately embarked on an £8.5m renovation programme, restoring the hall and parkland to its former glory.
In 2008, with a further £3.5 million investment, his daughter Allison turned Wynyard Hall into the exquisite, four-star country house hotel that it is now.
In 2011, Sir John commissioned a group of local historians to write a book about Wynyard Hall. “The History of a Great House” was published that same year.