Early this year I first shared Northumberland’s Seaton Delaval Hall with you. At that time it was wholely encased in scaffolding and a woeful sight. I breathed a huge sigh of delighted relief to find it standing proud and unencumbered on my return this Summer.
Last week we had a wander in the beautiful gardens and I promised a look inside. I didn’t know then the theme of this week’s Thursday’s Special. My sun beaming in is as close as I get to the ‘gold inside’, but I hope you will join me anyway.
Let’s take a look. So much has been accomplished!
And then we step inside. The height of the hall is no longer a surprise to me but, looking up, I’m happy to see the Muses restored to their lofty niches. Sunlight illuminates the silent figures.
The conservation team have done an amazing job. The 30 foot high Central Hall was gutted by fire and left open to the elements for many years. Even in its fragile state there was a grace and a majesty to the building. The team have lifted and relaid the tiled marble floor, and the stucco statues have been strengthened, repaired and returned to their original niches.
The six statues represent the muses of sculpture, painting, architecture, astronomy, geography and music. Apparently they were made in situ, from an iron framework covered in tile, brick and plaster to produce a mannequin. Muslin beneath layers of stucco plaster created a very realistic appearance. Conservation enthusiasts might enjoy the Hall’s blog.
It was a glorious day and I strolled the gardens, and then was about to head for the tea rooms when I spied an open door, off the courtyard. I hadn’t noticed it before and curiosity impelled me inside. Be prepared for some serious treasure. I wasn’t!
Click on a photo to view in more detail
The Delavals were great collectors and the evidence is everywhere. A complete treasure trove! Much of the history of the Hall is on my previous post, and you will find additional details (including how to get there) on this National Trust link to Seaton Delaval Hall.
I thoroughly enjoyed my return visit and hope that you did too. If you ask nicely you can have oozy cream on your hot chocolate fudge cake in the tea rooms. Very nice! Now I need to take you to Paula’s place for her interpretation of the gold inside. It’s beautiful- of course!