Audley End is renowned as one of the finest Jacobean houses in England. The house started life in 1139 when Geoffrey de Mandeville the 1st Earl of Essex founded a Benedictine priory at Walden, which, in 1190, became Walden Abbey. Since then it has changed hands a number of times and each owner has extended, reduced, remodelled and modernised it.
In 1538 the abbey was suppressed by Henry VIII and granted to Sir Thomas Audley, Lord Chancellor. He transformed the abbey buildings into a mansion. In 1667 King Charles ll bought it because of its proximity to Newmarket races.
During 1941 - 4, after the death of the 7th Lord Braybrooke Polish soldiers of the Special Operations Executive secretly trained there, preparing to be parachuted into German-occupied Poland.
In 1948 the 9th Lord of Braybrooke sold Audley End to the nation for £30,000, leaving the pictures and furnishings on loan. And in 1984 English Heritage took over guardianship. Recent restoration has focused on the kitchen wing, stables and Braybrooke nursery suite.
As usual photography wasn't allowed inside but I sneaked a few! please don't tell them :-)
We didn't time our visit very well. We had been out to lunch and called in on the way back in the afternoon. We visited the house first, ground and first floor and then wanted to go outside to see a re-enactment of the King's soldiers preparing for war, planning to visit the nursery floor later. Unfortunately we lost track of time and the house was closed by the time we got back. I was disappointed because I think there is a dolls house in the nursery. We can visit again though, it makes for a lovely day out.
All the King's men
King Charles telling us (the audience) how his men were going to race off against each other and we could have a wager on who would win. They were divided into four colour groups, everyone chose their colour and the winning ones got a bag of sweets. We chose red but blue won.
The drummer controlled the reins with his feet
The winning colour doing a lap of honour.
The lovely gardens and park were designed and built by Robert Adam and Capability Brown.
~ Be well ~
How lovely! Amazing final capture!!ReplyDelete
Thank you Cloudia.Delete
...well Polly, this sure is a lovely place, but a bit too big for me and my wife! Plus it would take forever to cut the grass. Thanks for stopping by my blog!ReplyDelete
Hello Tom, yes a lovely place to visit but too much work to live in it!Delete
How lovely to live so close to such a fascinating place. It really looks beautiful and yes, you must return if there is a doll's house to be seen! Your photos are lovely. The military reenactment looks really interesting and so well costumed. Thanks for the history!ReplyDelete
Thank you Jeanie. The re-enactment was very good, it really made us feel what it was like for the King's army to go into battle.Delete
This looks like such an interesting place and you've certainly picked a fun day to visit, Polly. Thanks for taking us along.ReplyDelete
Hello Amalia, we didn't know about the re-enactment so we were pleased we went on that day xDelete
How lovely! What an amazing house and to see a reenactment too - so fun! Thanks, Polly! Wonderful to see you again - I guess it has been a while, since I've grown out my gray hair!ReplyDelete
Hello Sheila, thank you for visiting.Delete
such a fun outing and I loved that you snuck in a few photos. I never understand why they ban photography. We were in the Philadelphia art museum and you can take photos of everything, as it should be!ReplyDelete
Hi Karen. Quite a few places here in the UK ban photography, for three reasons I think. It depends on who owns the contents of the house (see comment below), I think it's a way of getting visitors to buy their guide books, also if flash photography is used all day every day the items might fade quickly.Delete
Great pics, Polly - even the ones you snuck! What was the problem, taking photos inside anyway?- I just don't get that - unless it's someone's home and then it's perfectly understandable. Enjoyed the post in any event - it was a place on the list when the Memsahib and I did an eastern progress a couple of years ago, but I think we got stuck in Suffolk. Shame about the sweets...ReplyDelete
Thank you Mike. I asked a member of staff about not taking photos. Although the house is now owned by English Heritage most of the contents are owned by the Queen, and as such should not be photographed.......Delete