Seaton Delaval Hall is a Georgian-era house and estate. The family who occupied it was anything but typical. Nicknamed the ‘Gay Delavals’ for their flamboyant lifestyles, an invite to one of their events promised a raucous evening of pranks, theatre, and masquerade balls. Even resting at the hall let you in anticipation. One bedroom could lift its walls to reveal its occupants to the household. Another could drop you off your bed into a tank of freezing water. One ingenious room could have its furniture flipped, tricking drunk occupants that they had ended up on the ceiling! Many of these practical jokes came from the minds of the Delavals twelve children who ran freely through the estate and rubbed shoulders with royalty. The huge estate welcomed performers of every kind and the impressive architecture and gardens astounded every visitor.
Tragedy nearly struck when 200 years ago a huge fire damaged a large part of the estate. However, careful restoration and care has seen Seaton Delaval Hall return to its former glory and now visitors can enjoy its many facets and imagine what it would have been like to race these halls and mingle with high society guests.
Things to see and do:
- Explore the central block nearly destroyed by fire and find out how the Delaval’s made their fortune.
- The West Wing and Delaval Playdium illuminate visitors to the family’s colourful personalities and the performances they put on.
- A series of gardens containing formal hedgerows, playfully hidden structures and a variety of fruit and vegetables.
- Independently ran parish Church of Our Lady that would have once been the Delaval’s private chapel.
- A playground in the North West Woods.
- Award-winning Brewhouse Café that serves light lunches and sweet treats.
Free car parking available and accessible spaces are next to admissions.
Accessible toilets can be found in the Brewhouse Café and Carriage House. Also, there is an adult hoist available in the toilets next to the North West Woods.
There is an accessible path network through the gardens. There is level access through the ground floors and basement of the West Wing. Steps are required to access the Saloon, Central Hall and upper floors of the West Wing.
Wheelchairs and a powered mobility vehicle are available upon request.
Furthermore, a virtual tour is available in the West Wing Kitchen Lobby with information on the upper floors.
Induction loops are available.
Assistance dogs are allowed in the whole property. Pet dogs are asked to remain on leads outside.
For more information on the property and its history, please click here.
To visit another historic venues in the northeast, click here.