Church of Our Lady

The Church of Our Lady, Seaton, is the Parish Church of the Parish of Delaval. The Church was built about the end of the 11th Century by Guy de Laval, the nephew, by marriage, of William the Conqueror, and consecrated in 1102 by Bishop Flambard of Durham.

The Nave is separate from the Chancel by two fine Norman arches, which is quite rare in such a small building. A blocked Saxon window, visible on the outside of the North wall of the Nave, suggests an even earlier building. On the Nave walls and the West wall hang six funeral Hatchments (Coats of Arms), of which there are only 50 in the whole of Northumberland.

For over 700 years the Church remained the private chapel of the Delaval family and their retainers. On the death, in 1814, of the last male Delaval the estate passed, by marriage, to a Norfolk family, the descendants of Sir Thomas de Astley. Sir Jacob Henry Astley of Kings Lynn, inherited the property. In 1817 it passed to his son, Jacob, who revived the family title of Baron Hastings in 1841. In 1891 the grandfather of the late Lord Hastings presented the building to the Church of England for ever as the Parish Church of the Parish of Delaval.

Lord Hastings is patron of The Friends of the Church of Our Lady, which is a group of people from the Parish, and the wider community, who by their prayers, work and financial support help to maintain the fabric of the Church. Some of the Friends act as guides, showing visitors around the Church and pointing out items of special interest.

The Church is currently undergoing monitoring prior to work beginning to stabilise movement in the walls and roof. This has meant partial closure. However, a worthwhile visit can still be had by viewing the Church from the porch, and candles can be lit. It is open most Thursdays and Fridays, and every Saturday and Sunday, from 1-4pm from April until October. By arrangement, it can be available for visits by small groups.

If you would like to be a volunteer guide at the church please contact us on 0191 237 3480 or 0191 237 1634.