BOSSES at Seaton Delaval Hall are appealing to gardeners to check if they have a piece of history nestling in their rockeries in a bid to fill in the gaps at the stately home.
The National Trust is calling on people to take advantage of a stonework amnesty to help it recover parts of the hall that went missing after it was left badly damaged by fire in 1822.
Cheryl Moore, a building surveyor for the trust, said: “Since the fire, the hall has lost a considerable amount of stonework through dereliction and decay.
“In addition, local people who have always looked after the hall, and hold it dear in their hearts, have rescued parts of the stone so that it is not lost to the elements.”
“We are asking people to return anything they might suspect to be original stonework from the hall.
“This will help us to make repairs that retain the look, spirit and architectural integrity of the original building, along with making financial savings that could be best used elsewhere in our commitments to the local community.”
The team at Seaton Delaval Hall are planning to repair some of the hall’s stonework this year following the trust’s takeover of the 18th century property a year ago last month.
They will be making the remaining stonework sound and replacing missing stones or ones that have deteriorated beyond repair.
Cheryl added: “Part of the cost of repairs is matching the original stone as closely as possible and appointing masons to carve the stone and match the original design and techniques.
“As you can imagine, this is a very costly business.”
To arrange to return any stones you suspect may be from the hall, call Cheryl on (0191) 237 9114. All calls will be treated in confidence.