Page last updated at 12:20 GMT, Thursday, 15 January 2009

Campaign to save hall reaches 2m

Seaton Delaval Hall
Seaton Delaval Hall was built between 1718 and 1731

A campaign to save an historic stately home in Northumberland has reached its target of 2m from public donations.

The National Trust needs 6.3m to buy Seaton Delaval Hall, of which 2m must come from the public.

Built between 1718 and 1731 by Sir John Vanbrugh, who also designed Blenheim Palace, it is recognised as one of the best examples of Baroque architecture.

Reaching the target makes a stronger case to the National Trust's Board of Trustees, who decide on the purchase.

A ruling on the acquisition will take place later this month.

The remaining 4.3m is to come from the government and other public bodies.

Famous supporters

Donations have come in as far and wide as Canada, Egypt, Japan and New Zealand.

Supporters include England and Newcastle Falcons rugby star Jonny Wilkinson, Newcastle United goalkeeper Shay Given and actor Pete Postlethwaite.

Liz Fisher, the trust's area manager, said: "It's a great moment for the appeal.

"We've not had an easy ride over the last few months - the economic downturn has made everyone think twice before parting with their cash - but I think this goes to show that a good cause can still conjure up great generosity.

"However, we must not get complacent, every additional penny from this point onwards will help us convince the public sector that the nation shares our enthusiasm for Seaton Delaval Hall."

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