Page last updated at 02:22 GMT, Thursday, 17 December 2009

National Trust saves stately home

Seaton Delaval Hall
Seaton Delaval Hall was built between 1718 and 1731 by Sir John Vanbrugh

A Northumberland stately home, described as one of the finest in England, has been saved for the nation.

The National Trust began a campaign to save the 18th Century Seaton Delaval Hall when it was put up for sale by its owner Lord Hastings.

More than £3m has been raised since the appeal began in July last year.

The National Trust now plans to open the Grade I listed hall, its gardens and 400 acres of surrounding land to the public in the spring.

More than 30,000 people from as far as Canada, Egypt, Japan and New Zealand donated money to save the house.

The hall, near the coastal town of Seaton Sluice, was built between 1718 and 1731 by Sir John Vanbrugh, architect of Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard.

Seaton Delaval Hall is a masterpiece of 18th century architecture and I am delighted that it has been saved
Culture and Tourism Minister Margaret Hodge

It is widely regarded to be the finest work of the English Baroque period and one of the most important historical houses in England.

Fiona Reynolds, director general of the National Trust, said: "This is a wonderful Christmas present for the nation.

"It has been an incredible journey and we have been thrilled by the goodwill and support we've received from so many people.

"From the start of the campaign we've worked together with the public - and especially the local community - to shape Seaton Delaval Hall's future and decide how the building, gardens and grounds can best be used for the benefit of everyone."

Culture and Tourism Minister Margaret Hodge said: "Seaton Delaval Hall is a masterpiece of 18th Century architecture and I am delighted that it has been saved.

"The hall will now be available for everyone to enjoy and to learn from for many generations to come, and add to the region's attractions as a tourist destination."

During the course of the campaign messages of support came from former Newcastle United legend Malcolm Macdonald and the Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall.



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SEE ALSO
Royal backing for historic hall
12 Sep 09 |  Tyne
Campaign to save hall reaches 2m
15 Jan 09 |  Tyne
Public back move to save estate
17 Dec 08 |  Tyne
Pupils join Delaval campaign
20 Oct 08 |  England

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