Work to save famous statues at historic hall

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Work is due to start on preserving six life-size statues as part of a major project by the National Trust to restore Seaton Delaval Hall.

Starting on Wednesday, experts will examine the ‘ladies’, who represent the arts, and have been standing high up in the walls of the Central Hall since the 18th century.

All six will be x-rayed with some further conservation work carried out on the most vulnerable ones.

House and collections manager Julie Hawthorn said: “It’s particularly exciting to see the work getting under way now.

“These sculptures have had a lot thrown at them over the years but they’re still, just about, standing.

“Fire, wind, rain and being shot at with air pellets have all contributed to their condition.

“Representing music, painting, sculpture, architecture, geography and astronomy, these statues were designed in the 18th century to be an integral part of the interior architecture.

“This conservation work will ensure that they will be standing tall for many years.”

The work is thanks to £500,000 in funding from SITA Trust to save the central block and is expected to be finished by August 2014.