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Visiting Seaton Delaval

Andrew Clarey Out and about

Northumbria University works in partnership with a number of organisations within the region. This working relationship not only gives students the opportunity to work on real tangible projects, but also allows these organisations to tap into the skills and talents of Northumbria staff and students.

One such place is Seaton Delaval Hall, a spectacular Baroque stately home a few miles North of Newcastle. Over the last year or so, The National Trust owned property has been working with various disciplines throughout the university from architecture, to the arts to my own course, Creative and Cultural Industries Management on various exciting projects.

The Hall was only recently acquired by the National Trust, the exterior is intact, but inside is a haunting burnt out shell. This provides an opportunity to use the spaces for exciting and innovative things such as art installations, performance and events.

The accumulation of this partnership came a few weeks ago, when with the help of Northumbria Universities expertise, Seaton Delaval Hall won £3.9 million grant in Heritage Lottery Funding, to secure its future and facilitate exciting new projects. This is an indication of just how successful these partnerships can be.

Our project at the Hall formed part of our heritage elective. A small group of us have, since January being developing an interpretation plan for the Hall and its gardens, with a strong community focus, including spaces for events, community gardens and community archaeological digs to unearth what lies beneath the surface within its grounds (an earlier mansion is hiding there somewhere)

It has been an inspiring project for all of us as it gets us out of the classroom, it’s very hands on and we actually feel as though we are contributing to a tangible project which now, given the Heritage Lottery Funding has the potential of being realised. It has also given us the experience of working as consultants with actual clients, and in that respect, it has been invaluable. Here are a few of my photo-shopped visualisations of potential project and a landscape strategy plan for the grounds.


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