The Delavals were loyal supporters of William the Conqueror and were gifted the land as reward for their support at the Battle of Hastings. The current building was constructed in the early 1700s from a Baroque design by the most famous architect of the time, Sir John Vanbrug. In the 1800s the large parties, gambling, practical jokes and theatrical and scandalous behaviour earned the family the reputation as the “Gay Delavals".
The National Trust acquired Seaton Delaval Hall in 2009 and set about repairing the historic buildings and on 2018 they were awarded £3.7 million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The “Curtain Rises” project was established and after a robust tender process Historic Property Restoration Ltd were selected as the Principle Contractor.
The Curtain Rises is presently the largest single project for The National Trust in the UK and over the next two years the restoration of this extensive estate will capture the nations interest.
The current scheme involves the complete re-roofing of the West Wing, part of the central block which encloses the entrance courtyard. The East Wing stables are being restored. Further across the site, the original Brewhouse will be extended with a modern new build extension and is being converted to a café facility with new commercial kitchen fit out. Extensive re-modelling of both the hard and soft landscape including new path network, planting, trees, estate railings, play area and purpose-built cube structures is taking place to both the NW Woodland and the SE Gardens. This has transformed the external landscape.
The original Carriage House is being restored and structurally stabilised, with the addition of a new internal pod to provide new modern WC facilities for visitors. This modern pod will stand independent of the historic fabric so that it forms a reversible modern intervention
Sections of the Walled Garden have been rebuilt and repointing and consolidation works are being undertaken along with masonry repairs to the the extensive HaHa walls and corner Bastions, which define some of the boundaries of the site. Finally, the Sea Walk Walls, Orangery and Mausoleum are being restored, stabilised and consolidated as part of the wider site restoration works.
Historic Property Restoration are offering individuals “Behind the Scenes: Hard Hat Tours” to get exclusive access to key areas of the project, so they can see the restoration work in progress and appreciate the sheer beauty of the impressive buildings.
To see more of our work at Seaton Delaval Hall, why not visit our Instagram page using this link? Alternatively, you can follow this link, to view the stunning drone footage captured courtesy of The National Trust.
The Curtain Rises Project was recognised as the winner of the Conservation and Regeneration category, at the Construction Excellence North East Awards 2021.