Read Hall about it in new book

Left to right, Norma Neal, Barbara Leo, Sir John Hall and Haydn Neal at the book launc

Left to right, Norma Neal, Barbara Leo, Sir John Hall and Haydn Neal at the book launc

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THE history of one of the most prominent buildings in the Tees Valley is being celebrated in a new book.

The book Wynyard Hall – The History of a Great House was officially launched yesterday by entrepreneur Sir John Hall and members of the Sedgefield Local History Society, who wrote the book.

Sir John, who bought the stately home in 1987 from Lord Londonderry, asked group members Norma and Haydn Neal and Barbara Leo if they could research the history of Wynyard Hall dating back to the 1800s.

The trio duly obliged, spending 18 months trawling through local and national archives to produce a stunning record of the hall.

Sir John said: “I have had this place as a family home for 25 years and have grown to love the place.

“One of my first memories came after buying it, when I brought my wife Mae and her late mother down to see it.

“We pulled into the grounds and drove down the drive, until we could see a glimpse of the house through a gap in the trees.

“I pointed it out and said ‘there it is’. Mae’s first words were ‘how am I going to clean that?’.

“That was the start of our family relationship with Wynyard Hall and it has evolved into a business now with a four-star hotel and is widely recognised as the region’s top wedding venue.

“You have to look to the future, I have always said that if you live in the past, you die.

“But as far as the history of Wynyard goes, I wanted something to be produced to allow future generations to see what it is all about.

“This book is a tribute to the hard work that Norma, Haydn and Barbara have put in over the last 18 months.”

Norma added: “Working on the book became a real labour of love for us.

“It contains a huge cast of characters who have lived, worked and visited here over the centuries.

“They have included aristocracy, politicians, writers and artists.

“We have delved into the local history books, and also travelled to London and Northern Ireland to carry out research.

“We all hope that people enjoy reading the book as much as we enjoyed pulling it together.”

Wynyard Hall – The History of a Great House is available from Wynyard Hall.