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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

A Northern East Appeal

As anyone who reads this blog have realised I am a lover of historic builidngs so I usualy have my ear out for news on such buildings. A few years ago Tyntesfield was being sold and the National Trust made a big appeal so that it could "be bought for the nation".

This appeal got a rather large amount of publicity. I was surprised therefore to discover by chance that the National Trust has another such appeal to purchase Seaton Delaval in Norhumberland.

Delaval is the work of John Vanburgh who also built Castle Howard and Blenheim and should be one of the great attactions of the North East. The house design is
of a centre block, containing the state and principal rooms, and two flanking arcaded and pedimented wings containing the stables in the east wing, and secondary and service accommodation in the west wing.

Alas in 1822 the centre block was gutted when a Jackdaw's nest in an uncleaned chimney cought fire. The current occupants live in one wing whilst Vanburgh's stables occupy the other.

The house and gardens are currently open to the public and I guess it makes sense for the National Trust to try and purchase it. I would hope that the Trust would try to restore the house to its former glory, there are enough art treasures in this country that are out of sight surely for Delaval to make a wonderful regional museum to display them?, but I suspect the Trust will adopt its tradional preservation in aspic approach. Why is it ok to rebuild Uppark after fire but not a slightly older ruin?

As to money? Is culture and art something that we shouldn't encourage people to appreciate?

Oh and as I'm ever planning holidays :D I may be heading North East next year and I'd love to visit it.

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