1960s medieval-style banquets at Seaton Delaval Hall

A black and white image of a group singing at Seaton Delaval Hall

Still fondly remembered by hundreds of our visitors, medieval banquets were frequently held at Seaton Delaval Hall in the 1960s and 1970s.

The banquets

The banquets were a great success and a fitting tribute to the fun-loving Delaval family, the original owners of Seaton Delaval Hall. The Delavals were famous for their lavish parties and love of entertaining, which earned them the nickname, 'the gay Delavals'.
 
The revenue generated from the medieval banquets was used by the late Lord Hastings to fund the preservation of the Central Hall, which had been ravaged by fire and then by the elements after it was left roofless.
 

Memories of the banquets

The banquets are still fresh in the memory of many local residents, who often reminisce with us as they wander around the old kitchen, where festivities took place.
 
Jean Dunbar, one of our volunteers at Seaton Delaval Hall, recalls the meal consisted of Northumbrian broth, spare ribs, and syllabub. It was all washed down with copious amounts of wine and mead, served by men and women in medieval costume who then provided musical entertainment after the meal.
 
A 'Baron and Baroness' would be selected from the audience. It was the Baron's duty to read out a proclamation before the entertainment could commence.
 

What do you recall?

We have a folder in the old kitchen with photos of the banquets. If you were lucky enough to have attended one of these events, then take a peek in the folder for a trip down memory lane.
 
And if you have any stories you'd like to share with us, we'd love to hear them.