Stunning drone footage behind the gates of the historic Lambton Estate as house building begins

This stunning drone footage gives a glimpse of what lies behind the gates of the historic Lambton Estate near Chester-le-Street.

The 1,200 acre estate hasn’t been open to the general public since the closure of the lion park in 1980 and until now only invited guests and those attending events have seen the grounds of the grand estate.

The video was made by Miller Homes to mark building work beginning on an exclusive housing estate which is to be built in the grounds of the estate.

And as part of the plans, 15km of footpaths weaving through the private park will be opened to the public, giving walkers access to the breathtaking views across the Wear and a glimpse at the numerous grand buildings within the estate as shown in this video.

Lambton Castle captures in drone footage


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Money from the new housing estate will be used to fund conservation work for Lambton Castle, the stables and Lamb Bridge.

Durham MP Major General John Lambton first decided to build new family home on the site of Harraton Hall on the north side of the River Wear, but it was his son William who actually hired Italian architect Joseph Bonomi to build a new house in neo-classical style in the 1820s.

The original Lambton Hall, on the south side of the river was demolished and its name transferred, but William never saw the project completed, dying of consumption aged just 33.

The property passed to John George Lambton, later known as ‘Radical Jack’, who would become the 1st Earl of Durham, who inherited when he was just five-years-old.


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An artist impression of how the new Miller Homes houses on the Lambton Estate will look.

During his ownership Lambton Hall was transformed into Lambton Castle with a grand Gothic style by Joseph Bonomis’ son Ignatius.

The castle was reduced in size over the years due to mining subsidence. The exterior of the building underwent a complete restoration in 2008/09.

The grounds became well known across the North East in the early 1970s, with the opening of Lambton Lion Park.


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Spread across over 200 acres, the safari park also featured but elephants, giraffes, monkeys and camels.


Opened in 1972, it was rebranded as Lambton Pleasure Park three years later, when additions included a Magic Castle and miniature railway.

And the estate has remained mainly hidden from the general public since the close of the Park in 1980, though fun runs have been staged in the grounds and the castle was used to film BBC drama The Paradise.


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Homebuyers can now reserve a new home at Lambton Estate where prices range from £179,950 for a two-bedroom apartment to £629,950 for a five-bedroom house.