Tate Kids


John Piper, Seaton Delaval, 1941

The artist John Piper was interested in painting ruined buildings. He lived during the Second World War so he saw many buildings that had been bombed.

The Baroque Castle of Seaton Delaval in Northumberland was built between 1718 and 1729 and was destroyed by fire. Piper visited the castle in 1941, what do you think he saw? Do you think he found any clues to discover what actually happened in the castle or who lived there?

What colours do you see in the painting? What atmosphere does this create? Who do you think lived in the castle? If the castle was destroyed by fire, who started the fire? Was it an accident or was it deliberate?

47 stories about “John Piper, Seaton Delaval, 1941”

  1. Rob, age 7, from England

    Once upon a time there was a painter called John and he went to a castle and then he saw a ghost and he was very frightened! He went home and painted a picture. That night when he went to sleep he dreamt that the picture came to life and the ghost came out of the picture and ate him. Then he woke up and made a cup of tea and lived happily ever after.

  2. chloe, age 8, from scotland

    this is a castle it is old . it is scary it is cold…

  3. Max, age 9, from Mexico

    There was silence ruling the land as Seaton Delaval castle loomed over the big town. The clouds were rolling in, grey and foggy. People stayed inside their homes, no noise was made than the crow crowing. In the dark alleyways, rats scuttled to and fro trying to get some crumbs that the families threw out the windows.
    The towers of Seaton Delaval castle were tall and merciless, guards sat silently on top, looking at the landscape and dreaming of a blue sky, clear lakes, green grass, happy people, laughing and dancing children, the luxury of life on the other side.
    “It looks like it’s going to rain.” sneered the King’s Jester coming out to toss the guards some plates of mouldy bread. “Eat the bread before it does.” he grinned malovently and retreated back into the castle. The guards grimaced and threw the bread over the tower where the rats fought tooth and nail to get them. “Ignore him sonny, he’s been like an ass the day he was born.” the elderly guard told the younger one. “I want to get out of here pa, the grass is much greener on the other side, this is depressing for me.” the young guard rested his spear against the stone wall. “Patience son, patience. That’s all you need, the Lord Jesus will reward you, that’s for sure. We’ve only the rest of our human lives left, then we will rejoice together with the angels in Heaven for eternity.” the elderly guard smiled. “Just you wait.”

  4. Sophie, age 11, from England

    it was dark when i made my way back to the castle.i pulled my snow white cloak further around my sholders. comeing inside i whispered,” Arther,are you there?” my voice echoed round the walls. suddenly my heart skipped a beat. there was a pool of somthing red on the walls and floor leading to the royal bedchamber. Arther!!! i rushed in to find him on the floor still and cold, yet breathing. Breathing!he was alive! i heard somthing behind me i spun round, somthing hit me across the head, then all went black…

    i woke up, my head hurting asif it was being thumped apart, to find myself, bound and gagged, on a cart, miles away from anyone or anywhere i easily slipped out of the ropes, and was about to get out when i felt something cold and sharp pressed against my back. a knife . i was led away by my masked captor into a cave. there, bound in ropes was arther! thank god he was alive! but before i could speak to him, i was led into a room and left there to starve.

    i knew i had to escape. after 9 hours i was starting to get hungry. i was frustrated. i took my shoe and threw it at the wall. it must have hit a catch becausei got out no hassle. i untied arther and we went back to the castle.

    two weeks later arther was telling the duke of suffok the tale of his great escape. “after i hit the switch, i untied my poor serving girl penny, i rode back to the castle and alerted the athorites and they arested the scoundrels!” he took all the credit for the escape!i will get even. i will, i will, i will…

  5. Marcela Alato, age 38, from Mexico

    The poet is feeling happy and relaxed, he wishes he could share his thoughts with someone. He dreams of someone to share the sunset with. He knows that the difficult times he can deal by himself. The happy times are when he really feels lonley if he has no one to share them with. there is no such a sadness as lonelyness after success.

  6. Milly Hewitt, age 0, from -

    The door creaked slowly as I creeped into the dreadfull house. HOOT, HOOT. What was that? I looked around suspiciously around. Phew, only an owl. Suddenly a light flashed. Thunder, oh oh. I scurried inside.It was realy dark inside and loads of cobwebs. Good thing I’m not scared of them.
    Whooooooooooooooooo. Whoooooooooooooooo.
    What was that?! I wish I didnt come into this house
    now. I wish I didnt creap out of my house and escape. Ha,Ha,Ha. What on earth was that sound?
    I opened my mouth to scream but then I new where I was. NOT having a NIGHTMARE! I had to let it out and SCREAM!!!!! A horrible screeching sound ran through the house. Milly, Milly wake up why were you screaming? Sigh, so it was a nightmare. Why oh why do I have nightmares?!

  7. johnboy, age 16, from Germany

    This picture ist very interesting

  8. marni mcfall, age 8, from England

    The castle burned down rapidly.As screaming mothers ran to drag there children to safety the german bombs landed and exploded forcing the old castel to fall to pieces. the next day rumours were spred all silly .Children made up stories although mums said it was just there amagnatoin.

  9. Tilly Mc., age 12, from England

    The wooden door crashed open, a young man in his early twenties sprinted out screaming. He tripped on the stairs and ended up sprawled across the cold concrete. “Please…No…It can’t be real…” Nobody heard him, the place was deserted. He slowly stood up, surveying his surroundings. His name was John Harrow. John stared at the building he had just emerged from. It must have been a vision, surely it couldn’t have been real? The woman hanging from the rope in the drawing room had to be his imagination. John walked away from the building, still looking at it. He couldn’t contain his curiousity, he had to find out how the woman had got there and why she was dead. He marched towards the door and pulled it open, only to be greeted by a burly man with a rope in his hand. John knew immendiatly what was coming. he made a dash for it, but the burly man already had John in his clutches. John let out a piercing scream but he was dragged to the drawing room to join the hanging woman…

  10. rachel, age 11, from UK

    An old building. An academy, left without light long ago, left without sound sound long ago- left without life!
    But now it has become the home to many who are living like scavengers. Hell ghosts. Twisted and torn, moaning and groaning. The small love that they ever had- gone. The happiness and laughter, dissolved into the dark of nothingness. The building of TORMENTED SPIRITS…

  11. Eduardo Toth, age 34, from Brazil

    Was during the night that came into my room a goust or i kind of ectoplasm that i could not explain in some words, but i still can fell the cold running into my spine, it makes me fell i little dizzy, then i fainted into my room… after that i started to realize that i was not anymore inside of my warm and gentle castle, and it made me fell unconfortable for an instant until I see my huge and strong façade burning into flames of fire with an kind of rose color. Right now, I do not know why i am telling you that if i am dead inside of my temple in flames.

  12. Reilly, age 11, from USA

    hi, my name is Reilly Wilson and this is my story…
    One day i was walking down the road to the ampm by my house and i haven’t ever noticed this big, old scary house 2 blocks down.I don’t usually get scared about these kind of things but this one just gave me a bad, terrible feeling.The next day i started to wan’t to walk by it like every hour, like a force field was pulling me in, but i didn’t wan’t to scare my family with my new interest.When i would walk by that house every day i would feel like someone or something was watching me.So i looked up online to see who the owner is, it was a man named John Piper, but he had died 5 years ago inside the house.Then i one day it was raining and i was really being pulled in until i called the police then it just stopped then the police had the house buldosed down and they told me John himself , his body, was still there in the house but they couldn’t find it, thats what scared us all……………

  13. Ruben, age 8, from England

    one day there was a dragon called peteonimous and he lived in a ruind castle. Now this dragon really loved a Lady dragon, but he was too scared to propose. One day peteonimous decided to propose so he met the Lady dragon in the street and said ” I love you will you marry me ” and she said “yes of course ” and they got married and they all lived happily ever after because dragons are immortal. The end.

  14. Mateen, age 13, from Iran

    once there was a rich kingdom in far far away. the people in it were rich and happy and the kingdom was called: Atlantis.
    once there came a strange creature to the kingdom and it was followed by alot of horrible creatures such as zombies and ghouls and goblins!
    they started building a fort out of the city and the people of Atlantis were terrified! what were they going to do?
    they started gathering an army and after amonth the two armies were fighting without mercy killing watever was in the way! after a few days reinforcements were brought from hell for the monsters and they swiped the whole Atlantis out ofthe world.

  15. sam Westlake, age 12, from england

    I think its spooky because there is dark bits and is starting to break down

  16. Jaimee - Lee, age 17, from Australia

    There was once this haunted house that was said to be roamed by full moon by werewolves.There was a weird family that lived there they were ery hairy and they kept to themself mostly, they were very strange. No one really believed that because they just didnt want to believe that but those people were silly. There were other people they believed it was true because any one that went in there that went in there at full moon never came out. also sometimes people from the village were never seen again. So one day a tourist came to town and heard of this “myth” but he didnt believe so one night it just so happened to be a full moon. he waked up to the house slowly as he heard a loud ripping sound. The oldest brother of the werewolves walked over to the window, “mother, who dares enter our house alone?” the mother lept over and looked angry ” i dont know but he must be a fool, son its time for our transformation go worn your father” meanwhile the man unaware that these werewolves were planning to have him for there next feast walked through the doors that were covered in cobwebs out of the corner of his eye he saw something run behind something, he thought it was just a cat so he kept walking. he froze when he heard howling he spun around to go but it was too late he was supper!!!!


  17. Jack Greenwood, age 7, from England

    In the middle of a dark street lays a dark misty castle witch is haunted and not used.There was a person called John piper who was camping overnight and was looking for some where to shelter and saw the castle and ran staght home and painted a picture of it and went to admire it all the time.it made him feel happy.

  18. Jack Greenwood, age 7, from England

    in a cold street lay a old castle. in the old castle lay a box.in that box lay a small box with a painting inside.

  19. Sir Franics, age 0, from behide you

    this is me!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Sir Real, age 4, from UK

    Once there was an old ruined castle. Inside there was a sneaky, cheeky man who set it alight. The man inside died and there was loads of hot blue blood smeared all over the walls. But what happened a few years later suprised everyone . . . Someone poured red dye all over the blue blood to trick the visitors. Everyone fainted and died covered in red blood. The rotting castle was left to crumble and turned into apple pie. Today visitors can eat to their delight. Lashings of cream are frequently parachuted from passing helicopters and when it rains sugar people crowd round and scoff their faces until they burst.

  21. Lucas and Andrea., age 12, from gongo

    this is a castle

  22. juki dege, age 89, from cote divoire

    this is me §§!!!!!

  23. felia, age 54, from irak

    it is cool because it’s my castle.i am a singe
    and my name is madonna ,

  24. loui, age 16, from wales

    very detailed painting, very dark, reminds me of a medevil scene, perhaps a of a person who is royalty lived there.

  25. Will Lloyd, age 13, from England

    I awake. Cold. Sweating. Panting for air. These dreams shall never leave me I mutter. These dreams have been with me since I was born. Like a curse cast over me by satan himself. Such Pain, such anguish, such suffering such…DEATH. Yet I cannot decifer the works of my own hellish imagination. These dreams are almost real. Could I be seeing the Sihouette of the future? Am I seeing what is to come? Is it a warning from God? Nay, no such vision of importance would ever find it’s way to me. i’m just wealthy land owner with no family or love. I lift myself out of bed. I turn to the arch overlooking the grounds and the gate. Beyond lies the village, shrouded in a darkness of mist and shadow.
    I see a man stagger past the gates, moaning. looking closer, I see he is bleeding and is caked in mud and filth. Suddenly he stumbles and falls into the road.
    ” You Sir! Are you well” I yell out of the arch.
    For a moment he does not see me. he looks up as if my voice had come from the heavens.
    Finally he looks up to my mansion. He squints at me through faded eyes and stands up, pain etched on his face.
    ” SIR!” I yell again.
    He makes his way to the gates as I rush down the cold,stone steps up to him.
    suddenly I see something in the distance. A cloud of billowing, black smoke rising up adding to the blackened mix that was the sky. Suddenly, I see something else that creates a new spark of fear. Fire. Walls of fire burn the rooves and walls of the village houses. I look to the man who has reached me now. He falls again and grasps at my dressing gown pulling me to the ground, levl with him.
    I look into his eyes as he says simply;
    “They are coming”.

  26. tim, age 11, from england

    there was a castle, it was dark and i didn’t like it . the end

  27. Brianna, age 12, from U.S.A

    the first time john went to the mueseum it was inspirational, he loved it. the first thing he did when he got home he started a painting he called “a walk on the beach”, MAMA look what i painted he exclaimed. It was a beautiful sea with a sunset just setting and a cat walking along side it looking as if not to touch the water, the palm trees swayed in the summers breeze. “OOOh my” john’s mother was astonished, her boy was only 12 years old and he could paint wonderous pictures as if he’d been painting for all his life. soon she got him all the supplies he needed so he could paint his heart out.
    He later found he was interested in painting ruined buildings and went with it he started painting old ruined buildings they had so much details lookd as if they actualy had texture. he knew he was good but sometimes got fusturated but kept going.
    YEARS LATER. . . he got his painting in the tate edition.

  28. Lori-lee williamson, age 12, from Scotland

    The door creaked slowly as I creeped into the dreadfull house.BOOO!!What was that? I looked around suspiciously around. Phew, only an owl. Suddenly a light flashed. Thunder, oh oh. I scurried inside.It was realy dark inside and loads of cobwebs. Good thing I’m not scared of them.
    Booo!! Booo!!
    What was that?!I wish I didnt creap out of my house and escape.I opened my mouth to scream but then I new where I was. NOT having a NIGHTMARE! I had to let it out and SCREAM!!!!! A horrible screeching sound ran through the house. Zoe,zoe wake up why were you screaming?so it was a nightmare. Why oh why do I have nightmares?! WHAT DO YOU THINK IS GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT…???

  29. Katie, age 13, from Scotland

    The wind howled and the thunder roared as the storm started to brew. Count Dracula jumped from the roof top and flew off in search of fresh blood. He flew over a Translavianian town where he spotted an unsuspecting victim walking home from the pub drunk. He dived down straight to the victim. He plunged his fangs into the mans kneck and drained him of his blood. Tonight was a special night for the Count as that kill was his 5000th kill. Dracula took off from the ground and headed back to his castle.

  30. bob vecton, age 12, from Scotland

    The Haunted Mansion
    There was a house on the hill. It was haunted by the zombie of the boy who died there by suicide. He kills everyone who goes there. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. jodi, age 12, from scotland

    onethosond years a go there was a man how lived in a honted casle which had ten ston gargoyles coverd in cobwebs honted by a footlis man how and is traped in the mans bode and makes the man do horibl things like drop things on him self and got badiy hurt and one day he droped a gargoyle on him self then his head burst open

  32. james dear, age 11, from england

    a dark castle surrounded by blackness and white sparks in the air followed by a loud bang from a drum.It looks like an old wrecked ship which hasn’t been sailed for years
    and then i opened the door it sounded like a scream of pain from inside.As i crept in the dark castle,and then came a sudden chill came over my body as i was spooked as i heard creaking sounds from the floorboards below.

  33. phoebe, age 11, from England

    It was a cold wet night in the middle of winter and every one was scared of what was luring out in the dark.They would lock every window and every door because they was something they just they looking at every one lauing at every one. But on one knew what it was. But one day a man said “I am going out there” and they all said” no no don’t do it’. He was gone in a flash and he never returned again untill a man walked out of the gloom dark it was him that man. He did not say what happen in there.
    The End

  34. kieran, age 12, from here

    this castle was once a hide out of the most evil man ever tom. he once lived here. then he ran away.only to come back to die there out of all the pepole he had cause pain and suffring to there was one man who was feed up with his plans.his name was bob.
    bob was a geunis he was a ruler of a big army and they found out where this castle was and stormed it . bob lead the storm and wasnt at all scared he was hurt when the door was broken down and got splinters all over his body and louds of rocks fell on him the army cared on to get tom.
    at the end of it all they came back to bob who was lieing on the floor
    “did you get him” moned bo as he slow started to die
    “yes master we kept his head” said a troop
    “good” said bob then he died

  35. Borat, age 41, from Florida, USA

    The war continues…..
    This is Judgement Day.

    The year was 2101
    Bullets were flying everywhere.
    John Piper ducked behind a ruined Church pillar.
    He was holding an old AK-47 from 2007 – it said on the barrel.

  36. bilbo bob-big, age 12, from england

    Robin was a young boy who loved his animals. He knew everything about them, his favourite was the sheep, but only because there was a little robin bird who used to sit on the sheep’s head.
    Robin was riding on his horse as he always did, he rode on his horse then he fed it and cleaned it. Animals were his life he loved them so much, he dedicated his life to them.
    Loving animals so much got him in a lot of trouble as he never did his homework and never did revision but he was naturally clever so his average grade was a B.
    On January 5th Robin was feeding the pigs when he saw a wolf. The wolf was running straight for Robin so he quickly jumped out the way so he was not squashed by the evil beast, the wolf had now seen another target, Robin’s favourite sheep Bilbo it grabbed it by its neck. Robin was chasing the wolf with tears dripping out of his eyes like water from a running tap, he chased the wolf without thinking, adrenaline making his decisions for him.
    His sheep was very badly hurt it was making an elephant noise. He carried the dying sheep inside but by the time he had made it the sheep was dead

  37. Mikey Thomas, age 11, from England

    “We will have vengeance!” They hissed. They pursued him through the trees. He jumped over hedges and logs but there were so many of them, he would never out run them. Hans looked back and shrieked. They were not human. Hundreds of dark shades of hatred stared back at him. There was nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. He burst of the forest. He looked around in desperation. The shades wanted to take his life and his soul after the crime he had committed. He had meddled in the world of the dead and he would pay the price in blood. He saw somewhere where he could hide. An old abandoned church stood in front of him. The spire pierced the night sky. The church was his only hope of safety. He opened the door and jumped inside. He secured the lock on the great oak door. He looked around; the pews were wrecked and lying in ruins. The alter was covered in blood. Whatever had happened here was evil. There were skulls scattered on the dirty ground. He must be the first person to venture in for years. He had started to regret coming in this abandoned church. Whatever went on in here was not as bad as what’s happening out there he thought to himself. He was wrong. He could hear the drip, drip, drip of blood. He heard movement. His eyes darted towards the corner and the bell started to ring. He was not alone. He shouted for help.
    The beast struck and killed Hans with one swipe with is blood covered claws.
    Those were his last words.

  38. Sam, age 12, from EngAND!!

    The war continues…..
    This is Judgement Day.

    The year was 2101.
    Bullets were flying everywhere.
    John Piper ducked behind a ruined Church pillar just as a barrage of Thomson-Sub Machine gun bullets came his way.
    His heart was pounding. He had just realized that he was holding an old AK-47 from 2007 – it said on the barrel.
    He was 23, from Essex.
    He ran around to some more cover and started to aim at one of the Socialist’s from the cover of the old Pews he was expecting a

  39. Cynterra Reed, age 6, from usa

    There was a dark and spoky house. A ghost guinea pig lived there but a kid went there. The kid met the ghost guinea pig. They had fun. TO BE COUNTINUED

  40. Cynterra Reed, age 6, from usa


    The ghost guinea pig saw fire. She said “FIRE! FIRE!”
    They ran away to safety and they never were at the house again.THE END

  41. Jathushan Aaron, age 2, from England

    its very dark insidy because in the night.

  42. Tom, age 12, from England

    Once along time ago, there was an amazing thunder storm which made one library disappear.
    So I start the story on a lovely spring afternoon on the 25th of March 1932. I was sitting on my front doorstep and Mr Tom walked passed and I said “Hi” so he looked at me and walked past. I was very sad that day as my mother had died a year ago and it was her birthday. So earlier that day I had been to my Mums grave and used all the money I had to by some flowers for her grave. But the worst bit was that it had been vandalised. I called the Police but they took no notice as I don’t think they could here me as I was crying so much. The day had been so bad that I thought it could not get any worse when suddenly there was a massive storm which covered the one place he could almost call home the library. I sat there praying that the storm would stop as it was starting to wreck my only clothes. Suddenly as though my prayer had been answered the storm cleared but the library had disappeared.

  43. Alex Rogers, age 11, from England

    I am 12, I will tell you about the worst day of my life. It started autumn 2007 I got up one Saturday morning it seemed like a normal day until that evening I heard a strange noise from my attic. After a while it got louder, louder, louder until I couldn’t take it anymore so I went up in my attic and then the door slammed behind me and a ghost became visible and it looked like she was scared of something and so she said that I must go over to the weird, dark, scary mansion and I needed too spray the vampire with the holy water. Later that night when my parents were asleep I snuck out of my house and I went all the way down to the haunted mansion and I saw how the dark mansion was covered by leaves but it was weird there were no trees but only dead ones. I went in and the door creaked and I went down to the basement and I saw weapons all around the wall and a coffin in the middle I grabbed a mace and my spray bottle of holy water and opened the coffin slowly the vampire jumped out and it jumped me so I jumped back. The vampire challenged me to a fighting duel and I said ok because it would be the only way to win. Then when we started the vampire ran at me with me not ready and bit me on the neck and sucked my blood. That is why I am a vampire to this very day the year is 6012 right now and so I’m dead and I’m coming for you!!!!!!

  44. AMELIE, age 10, from FRANCE


  45. Cynterra Reed, age 6, from usa

    The Guinea Pig Catching Monster

    There was a monster who ate guinea pigs.
    One day he had 1,000000 guinea pigs.
    He tock them to his castle.
    But before he could eat them a guinea pig escaped.
    The guinea pig had a plan.
    He freed all the guinea pigs.
    Then they made a fake guinea pig.
    The monster chased the fake guinea pig.
    Then he fell into the tollet.
    Before he got out he was flushed. THE END

  46. Jathushan Aaron, age 7, from Einglend

    One day it was night

  47. Donal, age 7, from Next to England

    ‘Come inside and be my guest’ said a small rusty sign on the door outside. I entered filled with curiosity and shivered as the heavy door banged shut behind me. “I have been waiting for you” said a menacing voice. “I got lost in the storm” I said “but now I am here”.
    “You are too late, they have taken her to the tower and tonight she will die”.

    (to be continued)