£3.7million to restore Northumberland’s flamboyant ‘party’ house

Statues greet visitors to Seaton Delaval Hall in Northumberland Credit: Callum Thompson Photography
Seaton Delaval Hall, the 18th-century former home of the theatrical Delaval family, is set to enter a new chapter in its life thanks to National Lottery players across the UK.

The hall was once the setting for the Delaval family’s lavish costume balls, elaborate practical jokes, and spectacular theatrical productions.

HLF has awarded £3.7million to conservation charity the National Trust, to help repair and conserve the Baroque masterpiece in Northumberland and bring new life to Seaton Delaval Hall for visitors and the local community.

Built by Sir John Vanbrugh, the architect behind Blenheim Palace, the hall’s design was a fitting backdrop to the family’s extravagant lifestyle. Over the years however, following serious damage from a fire in the 19th century, parts of the hall fell into disrepair.

“While we’re carrying out this important work, we’ll be looking at how we can bring the drama of the Delaval family alive for every visitor.”Emma Thomas, General Manager for the National Trust at Seaton Delaval Hall

The Curtain Rises

The Seaton Delaval: The Curtain Rises project, will carry out urgent repairs to the Grade I listed house, and allow improved access and enjoyment for visitors the hall over the coming years.

Emma Thomas, General Manager for the National Trust at Seaton Delaval Hall, said: “While we’re carrying out this important work, we’ll be looking at how we can bring the drama of the Delaval family alive for every visitor. We’ll be working with community groups, artists, students and volunteers to develop an experience befitting this spectacular place.”

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of HLF, said: “This final architectural work of Sir John Vanbrugh, Seaton Delaval Hall, is a particularly fine example of Baroque architecture in England, with an equally rare and important designed landscape. Plans to create a more welcoming experience for visitors, including highlighting the hall’s reputation for theatrics and parties and involving local students in the restoration, make it thoroughly deserving of National Lottery support.”

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