Rare coat returns to Seaton Delaval Hall collection

A rare and important military leather buff-coat and doublet, from the National Trust’s collection at Seaton Delaval Hall is on its way back home.

For the last year the coat has been down in Norfolk at birthplace of its owner Jacob Astley. He was the 1st Baron Astley of Reading and a prominent Royalist Commander in the English civil wars (1642-1651).

After many hours of painstaking conservation at the Trust’s Textile Conservation Studio in Blickling, the coat is set to return having been cleaned and re-mounted on its support. Silk linings have been repaired, loose gold and silver threads reattached and dust and dirt removed. So now it’s all set to go back on display at the Hall.

“We’re really looking forward to the coat and doublet returning to us”, said Julie Hawthorn, House and Collections Manager. “It’s wonderful to have such an important item in our collection which has such a fascinating story attached to it. We’re grateful to People’s Postcode Lottery for providing us with the means to preserve this coat for many more years to come.”

Players of People’s Postcode lottery awarded the National Trust £100,000 for conservation work and Seaton Delaval Hall was extremely happy to receive part of that for the buff-coat. Kate Pearson, Deputy Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said; “The work carried out by the team at National Trust to preserve historical gems is fantastic and we are delighted that our players are able to support this work.”

Sir Jacob Astley’s buff coat is an important part of the collection at Seaton Delaval Hall and helps tell a significant story in the history of the Astleys, a Norfolk family, who, in 1822 inherited the Hall through marriage. Sir Jacob was a great military figure and was one of the key Royalist Commanders during the English Civil Wars. He saw active service at numerous major battles including Edgehill and Naseby. He also commanded the King’s infantry against the Scots at the battle of Newburn in 1640 – the battle taking place only 13 miles from Seaton Delaval.

Visitors can see portraits of Sir Jacob on display at Seaton Delaval Hall one of which was painted by Rhoda Delaval, wife of Edward Astley and one of the notorious ‘Gay Delavals’.