Council welcomes Seaton Delaval park funding
25 Feb 2021
The County Council has welcomed funding to help restore a historic Seaton Delaval park.
Historic England has been awarded a grant of £316,000 towards the restoration of Seaton Delaval Park and Garden. It will fund the repair of one of four corner bastions and the ha ha wall (a sunken wall in a ditch) around the churchyard of the Church of Our Lady. These structures form part of the early 18th century boundary enclosing the Grade II* registered pleasure grounds of Seaton Delaval Hall.
The Grade I-listed church dates back to the early 12th century. For 700 years it served as the private chapel of the Delaval family but in 1891 it was gifted to the Church of England and has since served as the Delaval Parish church.
While most of the boundary wall, the three other bastions and surrounding parkland are owned by the National Trust, the bastion and ha ha surrounding the churchyard are owned by Delaval Parochial Church Council.
By rescuing the bastion from the risk of imminent collapse, the repair project work will open up the historic churchyard as an attractive green space for public enjoyment. In addition, it will allow the grounds of the Church of Our Lady and the rest of the Seaton Delaval landscape to be enjoyed together.
Trevor Mitchell, Regional Director for Historic England in the North East and Yorkshire, said: “During lockdown, we have rediscovered the value of our historic parks and gardens as places to exercise and lift our spirits. This repair project will do much to improve access to Seaton Delaval Park and Garden, providing clear mental and physical health benefits to visitors and locals.”
Hartley Ward Councillor Susan Dungworth said: “I so pleased to have been part of this funding bid from the start, working with the Parochial Church Council, the vicar of the Church of Our Lady and the County Council to ensure these historical features are preserved and the area can once again be enjoyed by local people.”
Councillor Jeff Watson, cabinet member responsible for parks and heritage at Northumberland County Council said: “I am delighted that funding has been secured to restore this important heritage asset in Seaton Delaval and am pleased the County Council, working with Delaval Parochial Church Council, has been able to agree a programme of future maintenance that will ensure this area can be enjoyed by visitors long into the future.”
Emma Thomas, National Trust General Manager of Seaton Delaval Hall said: “We’re thrilled that Historic England has supported the Church of Our Lady in this way. The Church of Our Lady is such a significant part of the history of the site and it is so important that the bastion and ha-ha wall is being conserved for all to enjoy and experience the grounds safely. We were delighted to be able to provide technical experience and support to the Church of Our Lady as a result of our own project.”