Garden, pleasure grounds, and a park of early to mid C19 date. The grounds were laid out for the third Marquis of Londonderry, possibly by William Sawrey Gilpin.
The site was owned by the Chapel or Capella family in the C12. By the C13 the estate had passed to the Langton family who retained it throughout the C14 and C15. It passed through various families by marriage, eventually coming to the Tempest family. In 1819 the heiress Lady Frances Anne Emily Vane Tempest married the third Marquis of Londonderry. A new house was built and works to the grounds were carried out in the years which followed this alliance. The site is now (2000) owned by a development company.
LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING
Wynyard Park lies c 4km north of Stockton-on-Tees in a rural and agricultural setting. The c 308ha site spans the valley of the Brierly Beck which runs approximately east to west across the centre of the site. The boundaries are formed by a mixture of fences and walls which divide the site from agricultural land except on the north-east side where fences divide the site from a 1990s housing development.
ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES
The principal entrance to the site is from Wynyard Road on the south side of the site, where a pair of early to mid C19 lodges flank gates called the Golden Gates (lodges and gates probably by Benjamin Wyatt, listed grade II). A drive leads north giving views of the Hall and lake through clumps of trees. These seem to be the remnants of a series of clumps alongside the drive shown on the 1856 OS map which were designed to control views as the Hall was approached. Prominent in views from this approach is a monument (listed grade II*) c 400m south-east of the Hall, in the form of a c 40m high obelisk which was erected to commemorate a visit by the Duke of Wellington in 1827. The drive crosses the northern end of the lake via Lion Bridge (Benjamin Wyatt early¿mid C19, listed grade II*) and continues to the east side of the Hall. There are a number of other entrances from Wynyard Lane and from the A689 on the north side of the site.
Wynyard Hall (listed grade II*) is a large classical mansion lying near the centre of its park on a platform within the angle of a Y-shaped lake. It was built on or near the site of an earlier house. The building was erected 1822-8 and the design is attributed either to Benjamin Wyatt (c 1775-1850) or to his older brother Philip Wyatt, but accounts differ and it is possible that the men worked together on the project (EH report). The building was badly damaged by fire in 1841 and rebuilt, possibly to the original design, in the years which followed.
GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS
The pleasure grounds lie within an area defined by the angle formed by the Y-shaped lake. The west and south sides of the Hall are fronted by a terraced walk from which lawns slope down to the edge of the lake. The east, entrance front looks out over a forecourt and informal lawns planted with clumps of trees. Lawns with scattered trees stretch northwards as far as a drive called the Racecourse, and paths lead through them to the walled kitchen gardens. A path runs through woodland alongside the Brierley Beck which feeds the lake to the west of the Hall. Here there are two early to mid C19 classical temples (both listed grade II), one in Greek style c 450m north-west of the Hall and another in Roman style c 50m west of the first; these were probably designed by Philip or Benjamin Wyatt. The 1856 OS map shows that the paths are survivors of a more complex system of winding routes which ran through wooded pleasure grounds on the north and north-west sides of the main building. A number of structures described as pillars and summerhouses on this map are shown disposed about the pleasure grounds but these have disappeared.
The park consists of a mixture of open grassland with scattered trees around the core where the Hall and lake are sited, but it is now (2000) in arable cultivation beyond. The centrepiece of the park is the Y-shaped lake with arms extending on each side of the Hall and pleasure grounds and a sinuous stem which extends for c 400m south of the building. The east side of the lake is sheltered by a belt of trees, and woodland hugs the long western arm of the Y, much as shown on the 1856 OS map. Woodland called Horse Shoe Plantation on the north side of the Hall provides a backcloth for views from the south. An informal circular area of open parkland to the south-west of the Hall and lake is defined by blocks of woodland and shelter belts. The area north of the pleasure grounds and the wooded sides of Brierley Beck is open grassland and fields with a few scattered clumps of trees which conform with clumps shown on the 1856 OS map.
On the east side of the lake the scene is dominated by the Wellington monument (see above). Some of the scattered trees in this part of the park are probably the remnants of informal clumps shown on the 1856 OS map. A large tree-encircled pond called Swancar Pond lies c 500m east of the Hall; it is shown on the 1856 OS map.
The park was probably laid out in its present form when the Hall was being erected in the early C19. The site was described in 1600 as 'beautifully adorned with woods and groves' (EH report). J C Loudon described it in 1822 as 'an elegant residence combining hospitable comforts, and an attractive mixture of varied grounds, woods and waters' (quoted in EH report). An account published c 1823 states that the grounds were 'receiving substantial improvements from drainage' and mentions the lake and Lion Bridge (ibid). The landscaping has been attributed to William Sawrey Gilpin (1762-1843) (EH report) but there does not seem to be any primary evidence to link him to the site.
A walled kitchen garden lies on the north-west edge of the pleasure grounds c 500m north-west of the Hall. The garden is shown on the 1856 OS map when part of it was planted as an orchard. It was described in 1889 when special mention was made of the apple and pear trees (JHCG 1889). Another walled enclosure, c 200m north-west of the Hall, was laid out as an Italianate garden probably in the late C19 or early C20. C19 photographs (reproduced in EH report) show scroll-shaped beds and rows of urns on pedestals, though little trace of these now survives. An account published in 1889 (JHCG) describes this as a flower garden with beds of `large and simple design¿ which suggests that the elaborate beds of the photographs were laid out after this date.
J Horticultural and Cottage Gardener, (28 March 1889), p 259
Victoria History of the County of Durham III, (1928), pp 251-3
N Pevsner and E Williamson, The Buildings of England: County Durham (1983), p 379
A Report into the Landscape Strategy at Wynyard Hall Cleveland, (English Heritage report, nd)
OS 6" to 1 mile: 1st edition published 1856
Description written: March 2000
Amended: April 2000
Register Inspector: CH
Edited: November 2004