One of the finest works of English baroque architecture and most important historic stately homes in Britain has been saved for the nation
The National Trust has managed to find enough money to buy John Vanbrugh’s Grade I-listed 18th century Seaton Delaval Hall in Northumberland, just north of Newcastle, keeping the masterpiece, and its grounds, open to the public.
In July last year, the trust launched a high-profile campaign to save the building (1718-1731), its gardens and 400 acres of surrounding land, after its Norfolk-based owner Lord Hastings decided to put it up for sale following the death of his parents.
Since then, in excess of £3 million has been raised by more than 30,000 people, with some donating from as far away as Japan, Egypt, Canada and New Zealand. The campaign also attracted support from top architectural names, such as Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, David Adjaye and Richard MacCormac.
However, the Hall could not have been saved without the help of HM Revenue & Customs, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council.
The hall, its gardens and the majority of the contents of Seaton Delaval were accepted by the Government in lieu of inheritance tax and gifted to the National Trust through the Acceptance in Lieu scheme.
Additional investment has been received from the regional development agency One North East as well as contributions from other funding bodies including The Art Fund.