It’s been a busy 6 months on site since we first let you know that works had commenced at Seaton Delaval Hall in December last year. The work being carried out as part of the National Lottery Heritage Funded project covers much of the site and although we’ve been sharing regular updates, we thought it timely to provide a round up of what’s been happening;
You can’t miss the fact that extensive works to the West Wing have begun. The sheeted scaffold protecting this precious roof structure is now a prominent feature on the skyline for miles around. The existing bitumen felt roof has been stripped to expose the historic timbers, and we are in the process of surveying the condition of the oak trusses and masonry. This has been a complex process, with evidence of historic fire damage and later repairs across the building. We are working closely with the National Trust and Archaeologists to ensure that we retain as much of the historic fabric as possible.
Construction of the all important cafe at the Brewhouse is at the halfway point, and the form of the new roof structure and walls can be clearly seen. This is a key element of the project, and National Trust have already begun recipe testing to establish the new menu for opening.
Works to the Bastions and Haha structures have progressed significantly. Much of the work will be concealed when the repairs are finished, but the structural interventions will ensure that these significant elements of the planned landscape will remain standing for many years to come. The North East and South East Bastions have been carefully reinforced below ground level with ring beam structures, and sections of unstable masonry have been rebuilt. These just await final landscaping before being complete, and you can view works to the North West Bastion as part of your visit currently.
The works to the Walled Gardens are most visible through the careful dismantling and re-build of the West Wall, and the installation of new buttresses along the North Wall. However further work is planned across the full elevations to consolidate the walls fully.
Exciting new path networks can now be seen emerging across the site and Studio Hardie’s structures for play and interpretation are being installed. The wider landscape proposals (based on the 1781 estate plan) play an important role in bringing together all the buildings and other features on the site, and visitors can now start to appreciate this.
All in all, it’s been a busy time at Seaton Delaval. However, this is only the first 6 months of an 18 month project. We’ll keep you updated on progress, here’s to the next 6 months!
If you want to take a closer look, the site remains open for visitors Friday – Sunday and you can find out more about what the National Trust are up to on their website