After a massive Sunday lunch at the Astley Arms in Seaton Sluice, we decided to stop by at Seaton Delaval Hall to burn off a few of those roasties. Although, from the photos it looks cold it was a perfect Autumn afternoon, with a slight breeze in the air but still warm enough to be pleasant. What’s better than a run around kicking up leaves? With our National trust pass the visit was free (in a way) though if you were to pay a family ticket comes in at £19.00.
Seaton Delaval Hall History
Seaton Delaval is in a Grade 1 listed country home, which is part of the National Trust since 2010, being one of their most recent acquistions in the North East. The Hall had lay derelict for a number of years, but a public campaign brought the architectual significance to light and proved it was worth saving. Designed by Sir John Vanbrugh (also of Castle Howard and Blenheim Palace) in 1718, completed in 1728 for the Delaval family, the Hall has had a turmultuous history. Lived in only briefly by subsequent Delaval heirs, it was provided the backdrop to a number of elaborate parties, until a huge fire broke out in the central shell of the house, leaving this section an empty shell ever since. The National Trust are working hard to fundraise and apply for heritage grants to restore to it’s original glory.
Exploring Seaton Delaval Gardens
Gardens always looks better in the summer, but it was nice to have a walk around the grounds taking with the backdrop of the hall. In the paddock area footballs are placed for kids to have a kick around and the girls liked seeing the horses in the surrounding fields too.
Church of Our Lady
Located outside of the gardens is the Church of Our Lady, one of the oldest churches in the parish. At the moment it is out of bounds as it has been moving on it’s foundations. Repair work has blasted it with cement (i’m not sure of the technical term) to fill in the cracks in the stone. Markers show where the surveyors are tracking any movement. It’s hoped that by the summer findings will prove the work has been successful and the church will resume it’s business.
Inside of Seaton Delaval Hall
As mentioned before the main Baroque part of the hall was badly damaged in the fire of 1822, so is a shell. It’s still very impressive though and you can get the sense of how busy and important the Hall was. The National Trust have already restored the marble checkerboard floor but there is still lots of be done. Although the Halloween themed events didn’t start till the next day, the cellar alone is enough to scare anyone! It was huge and very dark!
The statue of David and Goliath outside of the hall. You can guess why the girls found this funny!!
Love the sprial staircase.
The spooky cellar.
All it took was for a loud “Raaaaarrrr!” and Abigail was ready to leave.
The huge stable block, was an impressive stone building. A couple of the horses sections were being refurbished and were out of bounds, but most if it was perfect.
The West Wing of the hall, was home to Lord & Lady Hastings till 2007. This part of the Hall, houses paintings, antique furniture and vases.
Seaton Delaval Hall’s Ice House
Alan spied the ice house as we left the hall. It was easy to miss as it is tucked behind the toilets and covered in a grassy mound. Forget your American style fridge freezer, the ice house was the place to get your ice from to keep your food cold. Ice was imported from Scandinavia and being underground helped to keep it cold.
The girls loved this play area made from old trees, and had a good run around before it was time to head home. Seaton Deleval Hall, is a pretty small National Trust property but has enough to while away an hour or two. It will be interesting to come back and see the property as more renovations take place.
For more details on Seaton Delaval, visit the National Trust Website.