Vanbrugh’s Seaton Delaval Hall Saved

Posted in the 18th century in the news by Editor on December 18, 2009

As reported by Martin Bailey in The Art Newspaper, 17 December 2009:

John Vanbrugh, Seaton Delaval Hall, finished in 1731, engraving from Colen Campbell, "Vitruvius Britannicus," vol. 3, 1725 (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Seaton Delaval Hall, near Blyth in Northumberland, has been acquired by the National Trust, along with its contents. Completed in 1731, it was designed by Sir John Vanbrugh and is Britain’s most important baroque country house. The central block suffered a devastating fire in 1822, and it was not until 1980 that there was a major restoration, undertaken by the 22nd Baron Hastings (Edward Delaval Henry Astley) .

The 22nd Baron and his wife both died in 2007, and the hall and land (worth approximately £3.5m) have now been accepted in lieu of £1.7m of inheritance tax and the contents in lieu of a further £3.2m of tax. This is the first acceptance in lieu (Ail) deal for a historic house since 1984, when Calke Abbey was saved.

Photo from "The Seaton Delaval Journal"

The National Trust has put in £6.9m to create an endowment fund to care for the estate in perpetuity (its largest ever initial contribution for a country house). A further £3m has been raised from outside sources to cover the immediate costs of opening the property to visitors. Of this, £1m came from One North East, the regional development agency.

The Ail deal has led to the acquisition of 199 items, including a portrait of Admiral George Delaval by Sir Godfrey Kneller, a Queen Anne suite of seat furniture and two lead life-size sculptures after Giambologna by the John Cheere workshop. The Art Fund is giving £100,000 for the Fairfax Jewel (which has three painted enamel roundels) and a marble bust of Charles II by Sir John Bushnell. . .

For the full article, click here»

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Additional coverage can be found at the National Trust, Apollo Magazine, Artdaily.org, the Guardian, and the Seaton Delaval Journal.

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