Lambton Castle in the late 19th century.
Lambton Castle shown within County Durham
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Largely constructed in its present form between 1820 and 1828 by John Lambton, first Earl of Durham and one-time Governor General of Canada, it was built around the existing Harraton Hall, a 17th-century mansion. The castle was designed by architects Joseph Bonomi the Elder and his son Ignatius and built in the style of a Norman castle, as was the fashion of the time.
Later additions to the house built by Sydney Smirke in 1862–65, including the great hall, were largely demolished in 1932. In the 1930s the family moved to the smaller Biddick Hall on the estate.
The park that surrounds the castle is bordered by a high wall and is still used for an annual pheasant shoot. For a time in the 1970s, the castle's grounds were also home to Lambton Lion Park, opened in 1972 and closed in 1980.
On 30 December 2015 plans for the development of the Lambton Estate were submitted to the local planning authority for approval: the plans would help fund the conservation of the park, with potential to turn the Lambton Castle into a wedding venue, boutique hotel or both, with between £26million and £28.5million needed to fund the work. The plans were submitted by the Trustees of Lord Durham’s 1989 Voluntary Settlement, which manages the estate on behalf of the Lambton family.
- "Lambton Castle". britishlistedbuildings.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-03-08.
- "Lambton Estate July 2012". Durham County Council. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
- "Lambton Estate near Chester-le-Street may open for tourists". The Northern Echo. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
- "Development Plan". Durham Count Council. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
- King, Hannah (25 September 2012). "The Paradise: Bringing the set to life". tv blog. bbc.co.uk.
- "£28.5million rescue mission for historic Lambton estate – including new homes and jobs". Retrieved 21 February 2016.