National Trust: Seaton Delaval Hall
NATIONAL TRUST: SEATON DELAVAL HALL
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 Heritage Lottery Fund (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.
The Hall was once the venue for the Delaval family’s lavish costume balls, elaborate practical jokes and spectacular theatrical productions. 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. 
Since acquiring Seaton Delaval Hall in 2009, the National Trust has been carrying out critical building repairs to ensure the survival of one of Vanbrugh’s greatest works.
Yet despite significant investment, further urgent work is needed to conserve parts of the roof, basement floors and circular staircases, install new visitor facilities and to work with artists and creative practitioners, local communities, students and volunteers to develop new exhibitions, events and experiences in keeping with the flamboyance of the Hall and the colourful stories of its past.
Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund, 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.”
Emma Thomas, General Manager for the National Trust at Seaton Delaval Hall said:
“The National Trust is extremely grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund and National Lottery players. This funding will enable our charity to carry out essential repair and conservation work and allow improved access and enjoyment for visitors to Seaton Delaval Hall over the coming years. Seaton Delaval Hall is an architectural gem, one of Vanbrugh’s greatest works and is much loved by many in the local community and across the country. However, time and the elements have really taken their toll on this historic house.
“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.”
The National Trust is putting £3million of its charitable funds towards this ambitious project, which will see the installation of a new basement floor, a new roof for the west wing and new interpretation which will help tell the stories of the Delaval family. Improvements to visitor facilities are also top of the Trust’s agenda with a café, toilet facilities and a new woodland play area in the pipeline.
Emma Thomas continues:
“We have huge ambitions for Seaton Delaval Hall. Thanks to the HLF funding we’re able to start the work needed to realise those ambitions, but we still need to raise £724,000 to secure every element of the project. We hope that people will support us to help Seaton Delaval Hall achieve its full potential.”
To find out more about Seaton Delaval Hall and how you can get involved or make a donation, log onto www.nationaltrust.org.uk/seatondelavalhall