The revival of Seaton Delaval Hall

The Central Hall block at Seaton Delaval Hall

Undoubtedly the most significant figure in the revival of Seaton Delaval Hall was the late 22nd Lord Hastings. Under his direction, the fabric was restored and collections reassembled. New life was given to the gardens and public access offered for the first time.

Lord Hastings (1912 - 2007)

Lord Hastings recorded his intentions in his guidebook to Seaton Delaval Hall, written in 1966:
 
'In partially restoring Seaton Delaval and in opening it to the public in 1950 I had three objectives in mind: in the first place, the maintenance and improvement of the fabric, not only for the present day but for the future; secondly, the preservation of a monument, architecturally and historically priceless, for the benefit of students of art through the ages; and thirdly, the pleasure and edification I hoped it would afford many thousands of holiday-makers.'
 
After a busy career which included farming in Africa and parliamentary duties, with a spell as a government Chief Whip, he finally settled in Seaton Delaval in 1990. When he died in 2007, the house and grounds had been opened (with only a gap when major stone repairs made it impracticable) for each summer season for 57 years. It was his vision and drive, shared with his wife (who died later in the same year), which breathed new life into the house, the gardens and in fact the whole area. Their part in the history of Seaton Delaval Hall was as important as any that preceded it.
 
Lord and Lady Hastings set an example worth following.