Sunday 21 October 2018

Seaton Deleval Hall, National Trust

This recent outing I had with the camera, I found myself a stones throw away from my hometown. Seaton Deleval Hall, which is situated between Seaton Sluice and Seaton Deleval. It can also be seen from the top of the old pit heap which is near my home.

In my 29 years I've never visited the place which is unusual with it being so close. Even a few people I had spoke to that were travelling through or on holiday in the region were surprised I'd never visited. Saying that most people probably travel further a field to visit places rather than what's on their door step.

Very friendly staff that are full of information and a good history lesson. I chatted to quite a few of them for a good 10 minutes before carrying on snapping away. Also the church of our lady was open the day I visited, beautiful little church with plenty of history and stories behind its building and extending that's happened since it was built in the 12th century.

Below is a brief history on Seaton Deleval Hall and the Church of our Lady. Enjoy the read!

The Deleval Family had owned the estate since the time of the Norman Conquest. Admiral Deleval purchased the estate from an impoverished kinsman, Sir John Deleval. George Deleval had made his fortune from capturing prize ships while in the Navy, and also served as a British envoy during the reign of Queen Anne. In 1718, he called on architect Sir John Vanbrugh to advise him on how to modernise and enhance the existing mansion. Upon viewing the site, Vanbrugh felt he could do nothing, and advised complete demolition of all except the ancient chapel near to the mansion, which is now the parish church or Our Lady.

His advise was taken and the construction work was completed in 1728, two years after the death of the admiral. The resulting new mansion was the last country house Vanbrugh designed, and it is regarded as his finest work. On completion, the admiral's nephew Francis Blake Deleval (the elder) inherited the property, and moved in immediately.

In 1775, the Newcastle portrait artist William Bell made two paintings of the hall, depicting the north and south fronts. Bell also painted portraits of many other residents of the houseat the time, earning earning him the patronage of Lord Deleval, a younger son of the above-mentioned Francis Blake Deleval. These paintings can still be seen in the Hall today.

In 1882, the central block was gutted by a fire said to have been caused by jackdaws nesting in the chimneys of the section of the south east-wing closest to the main house. This wing was subsequently demolished, and various openings can still be seen, now glazed, showing where it joined the central block.

The house was partially restored by the architect John Dobson in 1862-63, when the central block was re roofed, although it remained a shell internally, the effects of the fire remain clearly visible in the great hall, originally 30 feet but now open to the roof, with blackened walls and muse statues.

During the second World War the Hall was used to house German prisoners-of-war, who worked as labourers on neighbouring farms.


Subsequently the 23rd Baron Hasting, Deleval Astley, wishing to preserve the future of the Hall and encourage greater public access, began discussions with the National Trust on 1 September 2008 the National Trust launched an appeal for 6.3 million to bring the hall, with its gardens and grounds, into the Trust's custody. In December 2009, the Trust announced that its appeal had been successful and the purchase having gone through, the Hall opened to visitors again on 1 May 2010.

Church of our Lady

The Church of our Lady lies within the grounds of Seaton Deleval Hall, just off the Avenue which runs between Seaton Sluice and Seaton Deleval. The Church was built by Hubert De Laval and dedicated in 1102 by bishop Flambard, of Durham. It was the private chapel of the Deleval family until becoming the parish church in 1891. It's chancel, choir and nave are separated by Norman arches and blocked up window and stonework in the north wall of the nave are suggestive of pre-Norman origins. The nave has a classical 18th century ceiling.

Finally what this blog is all about, the photos. Below are a few photos I took from my visit there. Don't forget to check my Instagram feed and Facebook for all my latest photos. Until the next time guys, thanks for looking!!


Saturday 26 May 2018

Blyth Battery Goes To War Weekend (Blyth Northumberland)

Last Sunday the 20.05.18 I visited my local Beach with the camera gear. where there were re enactments of how our soldiers defended our coast line back in the war. With Blyth being a main port for submarines in World War One and World War Two. The main grass area next to the car park was full of tents with people dressed up as they would of been as a soldier. One the floor were guns, equipment, ammo and all the supplies needed to camp out over a long period of time. there were also transport vehicles, jeeps a motorbike and an old fire engine with the water pump set up it would use on a trailer. also other tents set up a little way along the dunes. all surrounding the battery buildings. live singers singing songs from the war. fair ground rides for kids and lots a stalls selling sweets etc.

There was also a Rolls-Royce Meteor Merlin Engine on a trailer that actually still worked. Exciting stuff!!. The V12 750hp 27 Litre engine developed by Rover. Think it was used in the B52 planes. I was in the middle of taking some photos of some beautiful birds of prey they had there when I heard it fire up into life, so I quickly moved down the car park and managed to get up close and get a video of it on my phone. The huge roar of the engine could be felt through your body and the ground shaking as it was revved up. spitting flames from the exhaust, popping and banging. it uses a litre of fuel every minute. Even the smell was awsome, afterwards we were aloud to go up and have an even closer look.
Although I was feeling a bit rough from the night before I really enjoyed my afternoon out with the camera. below is a brief history on the battery and below some photos of the day. which can also be seen on my Facebook page and Instagram. Enjoy folks!!

World War One History

Blyth Battery is a coastal defence artillery battery, built in 1916 to defend the port of Blyth and the submarine base there during World War I, and upgraded for re-use during World War II. It is the most intact, accessible and intelligible coast defence battery on the North East and Yorkshire coast, with individual buildings and features of considerable rarity. It comprises two building groups – a twin coast defence gun emplacement and a twin searchlight emplacement, each with associated buildings, mostly in concrete with some brick. Each building group was in a compound surrounded by a fence, and the entire Battery was served by temporary hutment camps for off-duty personnel on adjoining land. Some buildings are partially sunken or built into dunes to conceal or protect them, and some were partially concealed with false roofs and structures.

Post WWI History

It was handed over to the local authority in 1925 and, although recommissioned for World War II, has since been absorbed into the wider recreational use of the Links, a 2-mile stretch of formal and informal open space south of Blyth town centre, comprising a long concave beach, dunes, mown grass and car-parks. All the Battery’s main buildings survive, most being vacant though some are in leisure-related use. Virtually all signs of the compounds, temporary hutment camps and false concealment structures are gone. The Battery’s buildings are scheduled and listed Grade II. The site is also within a local nature reserve.

Blyth Battery is open now til September every weekend for visitors to look inside also toured guides and volunteers to answer all your questions.

Friday 6 April 2018

St Mary's Lighthouse

Over the last week I've visited St Mary's Light House a few times with the camera. the first was Easter Sunday and the tide was in with a horrible easterly wind making big waves crash against the promenade and up the bank towards the car park. My second visit was yesterday 06/04/18, sun was shining blue sky and the tide was out. great for getting some better pictures of the island, rock pools and the lighthouse itself. below is a brief history on the light house along with pictures from my visits there. Enjoy!


The lighthouse and adjacent keepers' cottages were built in 1898 by the John Miller company of Tynemouth, using 645 blocks of stone and 750,000 bricks. It was built on the site of an 11th-century monastic chapel, whose monks maintained a lantern on the tower to warn passing ships of the danger of the rocks. The lamp was powered by paraffin, and was not electrified until 1977, St Mary's was by then the last Trinity House lighthouse lit by oil.


The lighthouse was decommissioned in 1984 (just two years after its conversion to automatic operation). At the time, its fine first-order fresnel lens was removed by Trinity House and put on display in their museum in Penzance. A few years later, St Mary's was opened as a visitor attraction by the local council. In place of the original, Trinity House offered a smaller optic from their decommissioned lighthouse at Withernsea, and this can still be seen at the top of the tower. Following closure of the Penzance lighthouse museum, the original lens was returned to St Mary's in 2011 to be put on display.

The lighthouse Today:

Since 2012 St Mary's lighthouse has been grade II listed. While it no longer functions as a working lighthouse, it is easily accessible (when the tide is out) and regularly open to visitors; in addition to the lighthouse itself there is a small museum, a visitor's centre, and a cafe. The cottage was upgraded with a wood pellet boiler in 2014.