Seaton Delaval Hall
Seaton Delaval Hall
A glorious Baroque mansion built by Sir John Vanbrugh for Admiral George Delaval between 1718 and 1728. This is perhaps the best of Vanbrugh's work, which also included Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard. The house sits in extensive gardens designed in 1947 by James Russell. In the grounds are numerous garden features, including a fountain, pools, and topiary.
There were Delavals at Seaton since the 11th century. When Admiral Delaval purchased the estate there was a sizable house there already, but the Admiral's ambitions ran to grander things. He commissioned Vanbrugh to build a new house, and the old mansion, with the exception of the church, was pulled down. The design is simple in essence, with a central block flanked by matching wings. The east wing housed the ornate stables, while servants quarters occupied the west wing. The centre block contains the state rooms and principle chambers. A disastrous fire in 1822 gutted the centre block, and the state rooms were never fully restored.

In the park is an ornate monument to John, son of Lord Delaval. A tragically-comic tale clings to the monument, as told by the inscription, which tells that John died, aged 20, as 'a result of having been kicked in a vital organ by a laundry maid to whom he was paying his addresses.'

As of this writing the National Trust has launched an appeal to raise the funds necessary to purchase Seaton Delaval Hall so that it can be purchased, to prevent it being sold privately.