Monday, 7 November 2011

Seaton Delaval Hall

Seaton Delaval, Northumberland, 1719-1732

Rowan Moore
The Observer
Sunday 6 November 2011

Seaton Delaval Hall, built between 1719 and 1732, is the last of Sir John Vanbrugh's houses and the most satisfying. Recently acquired by the National Trust, it is a punchy, pithy work, less verbose than Blenheim Palace, more daring than Castle Howard, the architect's most famous works. It is stony both inside and out, stands on an exposed spot, designed so that its owner, an admiral, could look out to sea. In theory it's classical, but the former playwright Vanbrugh gave it a drama of advancing and receding forms that can best be called romantic, long before the romantic movement had been invented. Both admiral and architect died before it was completed and it was later damaged by fire. It was never completely restored, leaving it partly blackened and with some of the aspect of a ruin. The ceiling in the hall never returned, leaving a view into the rafters, and some statues are limbless – in keeping with the brooding, elemental atmosphere of the original design.

360 degree panoramic view of the hall:

1 comment:

  1. It's so beautiful and Goth! I love the floor pattern. This looks like the kind of place Tim Burton would film a movie in. :)