Sewerby Hall

August 4, 2014
The front of Sewerby Hall
Sewerby Hall © Max Donnelly

From 9 August visitors to Sewerby Hall, Yorkshire, will be able see no fewer than 40 items of furniture on long-term loan from the V&A. This will bring to fruition a five-year collaboration between the V&A and Sewerby Hall.

Situated near Bridlington on the East Yorkshire coast, Sewerby Hall was built in the eighteenth century for the Graeme family. The house was considerably enlarged in the nineteenth century and its contents were dispersed by auction in the 1930s.

Fortunately, Janice Smith, Curator of Sewerby Hall, was able to draw on documentation, including early twentieth-century photographs of some of the interiors.

Early 20th-century photograph depicting the oak room of Sewerby Hall
Early 20th-century photograph depicting the oak room of Sewerby Hall

She worked with us to identify objects from our collection, not currently on display, that would allow visitors to imagine how the interiors had been furnished. Objects from the later sixteenth to late nineteenth century were chosen, including some very fine late sixteenth-century chairs which probably originated in Yorkshire.

A large project such as this called on a range of resources across the Museum, from our Loans and Furniture Conservation departments to our team of Technicians. I accompanied the second of our three shipments up to Sewerby on 23 July and installed sixteen items, from chairs to side tables, the following day.

V&A side tables in place at Sewerby Hall
V&A side tables in place at Sewerby Hall. © Max Donnelly
Two V&A chairs, now on loan to Sewerby Hall.
Two chairs from the V&A furniture collection, now on loan to Sewerby Hall. © Max Donnelly

It was great to get a sneak preview of the newly restored interior and, in my tea break (good Yorkshire tea of course!) I could also appreciate the gardens and the stunning sea views.


Sea view with trees and lawn in foreground
The beautiful sea view from Sewerby Hall.© Max Donnelly
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