Seaton Delaval may have been one of the architect Sir John Vanbrugh’s smallest country houses; but it was home to the larger than life Delaval family.
The house and surrounding landscape were in keeping with the style expected in Georgian society, yet behind the formality lies a story of theatrical mischief.
Known as the ‘Gay Delavals’ due to their high spirited and flamboyant lifestyle, an invitation to one of their parties was the hottest ticket in town. In an age notorious for extremes of behaviour, they stood apart as the most notorious of all Georgian partygoers and pranksters. Imagine awaking in the house to find your room “turned upside down” with furniture fixed to the ceiling.
Enter a world where an extraordinary lifestyle was acted out in the most colourful way. The Delavals loved a performance, staging events from rope dancers and sack races outdoors to masquerade balls and even their own theatrical productions, which earned rave reviews at the time.
Seaton Delaval Hall has moved from fortune to misfortune many times through the centuries and the story of its survival is as dramatic as any performance that could be staged. It still bears the scars of the fierce fires which almost condemned it to ruin two hundred years ago, but even today plays a major part in the history of the North East.
Now, as Seaton Delaval Hall is amidst a National Lottery Heritage Fund-supported project, you can follow the next chapter in its story. A major restoration is underway including a full reroofing of the West Wing and the introduction of conservation-grade heating; critical repairs to the cantilever staircases leading from the Central Hall to the Basement; the reflooring of the Basement; conservation of structures in the landscape including the ha-ha walls, mausoleum and walled garden walls, a contemporary reimagining of the 1781 estate plan in the landscape and improvements to visitor facilities including a new cafe, play area and toilets. Right now a visit to Seaton Delaval Hall is unlike any other. We’re staying open so that you can follow the progress of the project and get close to the work taking place.
Opening Times can be found here
Adult – £7.20
Child – £3.60
Family – £17.50
Gift aid prices are slightly more
Or get in for free as part of your National Trust which can be purchased here Prices start from £6.00 per month