Seaton Delaval HallSeaton Sluice Category Museums & Galleries, Historic Sites
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.