Focus on Seaton Sluice

About Seaton Sluice

Seaton Sluice
Seaton Sluice, showing natural outlet to the left and new cut to the right © David Simpson

So, where is it?

It’s on the Northumberland coast between Whitley Bay and Blyth.

What’s the name mean?

Seaton means ‘sea settlement’. Sluice is from a sluice gate that once existed within a special channel built when Seaton was developed as a port. The gate allowed the build up of water to scour and cleanse the channel. Seaton Sluice was once known as Hartley Pans, from an abundance of salt making pans that once existed here in times past.


The famous cut which enters the sea, the castellated octagon-shaped former custom’s house. St Mary’s lighthouse at Whitley Bay is not far to the south.

Things to see and do:

Just one of those places to wander and explore. There’s some very informative information boards explaining the history of the place. The nearby Seaton Delaval Hall is a National Trust property. It is a masterpiece created by the famed architect, Vanburgh.

Seaton Sluice is noted for:

Picturesque views. The famous cut developed by the Delavals. Nearby was once located the Hartley glass works.

Some facts:

The place was initially developed as a port in the 1660s and 1670s by Sir Ralph Delaval. Nearby New Hartley was the site of the region’s worst colliery disaster and there’s a memorial garden commemorating the tragic event.

The Octagon at Seaton Sluice © David Simpson

Famous people connected with Seaton Sluice:

Ralph Delaval, who developed the place, Vanburgh, who built the nearby Seaton Delaval Hall and possibly the octagon custom’s house.


The Kings Arms and the Waterford Arms both look out to sea.

To find out more about Seaton Sluice visit our history page covering the area:

Your Seaton Sluice?

We’d love to hear your comments. What are the best things to see and do in Seaton Sluice? Any notable shops or crafts? Where’s the best place to eat? Please leave your comments using the comments link at the top of this page.

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