Lord Barnard dies aged 92

Raby Castle, the seat of Lord Barnard.
Raby Castle, the seat of Lord Barnard.

One of the North East's most prominent peers has died aged 92.

Harry John Neville Vane, the11th Baron Barnard, died at his family seat of Raby Castle, near Staindrop in Teesdale on Sunday.

The castle, famous for its white deer, is among the region's most popular visitor attractions - as is the nearby market town of Barnard Castle, where Lord Barnard owned the Teesdale Mercury newspaper.

A statement released by his family on Sunday read: "It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Harry John Neville Vane, the 11th Baron Barnard, who died peacefully surrounded by his family, at his home Raby Castle, Staindrop on Sunday 3rd April 2016, aged 92 years.

“The family have asked that their privacy is respected at this very sad time.”

The aristocrat was born on September 21, 1923, the son of Christopher Vane, 10th Lord Barnard, and Sylvia Straker. He took over the title of Lord Barnard in 1964 after the death of his father.

He was educated at Eton, and graduated from Durham University with a Master of Science.

In 1952 he married Lady Davina Mary Cecil, daughter of David Cecil, 6th Marquess of Exeter at St Margaret's, Westminster and the couple had five children together before their divorce in 1992.

His heir is Henry Francis Cecil and has four daughters – Carolyn, Elizabeth, Sophia and Louise.

Lord Barnard served as a flying officer the with Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve during the Second World War, between 1942 and 1946.

From 1948-66 he was affiliated with the Northumberland Hussars acting as Lieutenant Colonel, commanding from 1964-66.

In 1960 he was awarded a Territorial Decoration for long service.

Lord Barnard was Lord Lieutenant of the County of Durham and Custos Rotulorum from 1970-88. From 1979-89 he was Hon Col. of the 7th (Durham) Battalion the Light Infantry.

Other titles he has held include county councillor for County Durham between 1952-61, Justice of the Peace for County Durham in 1961 and joint master of the Zetland Hunt between 1963 and 1965.