Built by David Burton Fowler in 1825, Preston Hall began life as a Georgian gentleman’s residence, located between Yarm and Stockton. It was not until 1882, when the estate and lands were sold to Robert Ropner for the princely sum of £27,500 that the building of today was born. Ropner was a wealthy shipping and industrial magnate, and in common with the style of the times, demanded a home to befit his status in society. Major alterations included the addition of a Winter Garden, ballroom, entrance porch, billiards room and extensive landscaped parkland – all ‘must haves’ of the Victorian age.
The Hall & Park was served by legions of staff, from a butler and cook, through to maids and stable hands.Gardeners would tend the grounds and supply the kitchen with produce from the walled garden, the remains of which can still be seen today. In 1937, the Hall & Park passed into the hands of a number of companies, before being purchased by Stockton Corporation (now the Borough Council) in 1947.The site officially opened as Preston Hall Museum and Park in 1953, and has continued to bring pleasure to generations of visitors young and old ever since.