Short history of the Tower House

The tower part of the house was built sometime between 1720 (suggested by the plaque next to the front door) and 1750. The rectangular add-on was constructed 10 – 30 years later. The design has been attributed to Sir John Vanbrugh who built Delaval Hall about a mile away. It is certainly in his style but there is no definitive evidence that he was involved in its design or construction. There is a story that there was a meeting of the Admirals (including Wellington) during the Napoleonic Wars in the ground floor room of the tower.

The Delaval family who funded the building of the Tower House were certainly involved in the Napoleonic wars. The house was His Majesty’s Revenue Office (not a popular name) and also the harbour masters house. It was called Copperas House, named after the mining residue that was deposited nearby. In the 19th century it was known also as The Octagon due to the octagonal shape of the tower.

In the later C19th it was a public reading room and at the turn of the century it became a residential house.

The history of the gallery is featured on Villages By The Sea episode based in Seaton Sluice on BBC and Netflix to be aired in late 2023.


Come For a Visit

Tower House Gallery, Collywell Bay Road, Seaton Sluice, Whitley Bay NE26 4QZ

Tel. 0191 4528301 or 07946874416


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