The wider, sweeping Vanbrugh landscape, the structure of the parterre and rose gardens and the colourful herbaceous borders all make up the gardens here at Seaton Delaval Hall.
Designed by Sir John Vanbrugh, the landscape provides the same sense of drama and theatre with which the Hall was created. It showed off the power, wealth and status of Admiral George Delaval and became a playground for the whole Delaval family.
Sweeping views to the North take in the coast and the Cheviot Hills, while around the Hall classic Vanbrugh design features can be found, such as: ha-has with bastions, swathes of close cut lawns, woodlands cut through with pathways and architectural structures, such as the obelisk, that draw the eye out into the distant landscape.
Much of the structure and the earthworks of this great Vanbrugh landscape remain, and we are working hard to restore the inner landscape.
The first commission of designer James Russell, created between 1950 and 1953, Russell’s brief was to ‘Italianize’ the garden. Its position to the side of the building was carefully chosen so that Lady Hastings could look down upon the garden from her bedroom window. The structure of the parterre is beautiful all year-round, with the formality of the hedges, the whitebeam ‘lollipop’ trees, standard roses, fountain and urns. At different times of year it bursts with colour from tulips, azaleas, lavender, agastashe, and fushias. Later in the year, the surrounding trees and hedges look spectacular in their autumn colours.
Referenced in the letters of Rhoda Delaval, we believe the Weeping Ash was planted around the time that the Hall was being built (1720s). One of the largest around, it is particularly unusual to see a weeping ash so far North. As it's so old, you're welcome to give a hug but please don't swing on it!
Installed in the 1920s, and still with the original box hedging, the rose garden is full of colour and scent from mid-spring to late autumn. The ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ rose has a particularly beautiful scent and is a favourite amongst the gardeners!
From early spring the herbaceous borders start to come alive with the first signs of the new season. From the subtle yellows and pinks of spring flowers to the vivid explosion of summer colours, these borders are an ever-changing delight.
Originally a private garden created for Lady Hastings, this sheltered and peaceful spot is enclosed by yew hedging and unusual Ghent Hybrid azaleas, and contains a small pond and summer house, which serves ice creams and light refreshments during the summer. Pull up a deckchair and simply relax!
Arboretum and Laburnum Arch
The Laburnum arch is comes alive May-time, with its masses of yellow hanging flowers. It leads through to the arboretum which is planted with various specimen trees and rhododendron bushes - one of our most popular picnic spots!
The Secret Garden
Next to the café courtyard, this small garden is ideal for any children to run around while you stop for refreshment. Relax with a coffee and let the kids run wild - just like the Delaval children would have done!
The Community Kitchen Gardens
Just off the main car park at Seaton Delaval Hall sits the Community Kitchen Gardens. Working with the local community, the Community Kitchen Gardens have 28 allotment plots for 16 different groups, as well as raised beds featuring some out-of-the-ordinary fruit and vegetable varieties.
There is a also the stunning Cutting Garden, which provides the flowers for the arrangements around the Hall, a Wildlife Area, a Herb Garden, and a sheltered and (sometimes!) sunny spot to sit in. Pop over and meet garden residents George, Georgina, Herbie and Hilda and chat to our volunteers to see what they're up to!