Northumberland, Seaton Delaval Hall

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A year ago we went to Northumbria for a weekend break, bought National Trust membership and visited as many places as possible just to get our money’s worth.  One of these was Seaton Delaval Hall.

I liked this place immediately. I could imagine living there. Sadly the main block is almost derelict, destroyed by a massive fire in 1822 but even though it is soot blackened and blaze scorched (it reminded me of one of my garden BBQ attempts) it remains a magnificently impressive building.

I liked it so much that we returned for a second visit a year later in the Summer of 2018.

What a tragedy that a place has magnificent as this should be destroyed in a single night and after two hundred years or so still be left as a great ruin.  Now it is a place frozen in time, agony twisted metal, flame seared alabaster statuary, fire coloured bricks of multi-colours and ash blackened floor tiles.

It was designed and built by Sir John Vanbrugh who had been previously responsible for Castle Howard in Yorkshire and Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire and although this one is much smaller in scale historians and architects today consider it to be his finest works.

The Delavals were rich landowners and early industrialists who made their money from coal, salt and glass and by all accounts they worked hard and partied hard and weekends here of parties and shagging went together like dog’s tails and wagging! Everyone in Georgian society looked forward to an invitation to a weekend rave popping through their letterbox!

Of all the places that we had visited this weekend this was my favourite, I could have stayed and poked about in the corners and the recesses for a whole day. The west wing (not destroyed by the fire) was lived in until relatively recently by a member of the modern day aristocracy but upon his death the owner had a huge bill for inheritance tax and unable to afford it sold the place to the National Trust.

If you missed the full post first time round then you can find it here…

Northumberland, Seaton Delaval and George Washington

28 responses to “Northumberland, Seaton Delaval Hall

  1. I wonder how the fire started. I suppose you were stuffed if your mansion caught fire in 1822!

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  2. I love this, Andrew! Your photos are superb, and the shagging bit made me smile. Pretty accurate 🙂 🙂

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  3. A place I wish I had seen years ago, before the NT acquired it…..

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  4. Lot of history in Northumberland, its still on our Tour of England list generally once we get going again! soon we hope. We are members of English Heritage so this place isn’t on our radar, but a good background to its history etc.

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  5. I love ruins. Are you allowed to go into the destroyed section or are you only allowed into the intact section?

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  6. OK Andrew, this innocent antipodean wouldn’t mind a bit of a spiel on the roles of NT and EH. Because it sounds interesting.

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  7. That first statue seems a bit gruesome, otherwise looks like a nice enough place if you have servants for the housework. 😀

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  8. Looks like a cheap version of Blenheim Palace that cottage in the header, to me even if historians and architects think otherwise. Those places really were obscene when you think about it.

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  9. Pingback: Cornwall, Value For Money with the National Trust | Have Bag, Will Travel

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