Religious Place In Seaton Valley, Northumberland
A delightful 12th-century church tucked away beside the magnificent Seaton Delaval Hall.
Sitauted right next door to Seaton Delaval Hall, The Church Of Our Lady is one of the oldest in Northumberland retaining its original Norman features. The chapel was a private family chapel for over 700 years to the Delavals before passing to the Norfolk family. It was orignally attached to Tynemouth Priory, but is now the church to the parish of Seaton Delaval.
It was built around the end of the 11th century, consecrated by the bishop of Durham in 1102, and remains as the only existing portion of the old castle which stood south west of the chapel.
Inside are two Norman arches and the north wall of the nave has Anglo-Saxon origins with its small window only seen on the outside. Two effigies lay either side of the altar, being Sir Hugh Delaval who died in 1302 and the lady is unknown but experts think 14th century dress.
Below the chapel is the Delaval family vault with Sir Francis Blake Delaval (you remember him from Starlight Castle) being the last buried there in 1771. In total there are six coffins in there. The hatchments on the walls are those of the Delaval family and the Astley family.
One interesting fact is the cemetery contains graves that were removed from St Mary's Island before the lighthouse was built.
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If you're going to visit Seaton Delaval Hall, then park there and walk. Alternatively there is a little grass verge right outside the church.
Contributed by Ashley Lightfoot
I love history, exploring churches, castles and ruins with my camera in tow. I am a member of English Heritage. Northumberland is my second home and any chance I get, I'm up there with my Dad, who volunteers with the national park, discovering a little something with a story behind it. The rest of my time, I'm just a simple greenkeeper!
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