Newstead Abbey

03/02/2013

Synonymous with the literary legend Lord Byron, Newstead Abbey sits grandly just on the outskirts of Nottingham. But there's more to the fabulous building and stunning gardens than meets the eye...


alt text

First built in the 12th century, Newstead Abbey was originally built as an Augustinian priory and was a monastery until the dissolution during the reformation in the 16th century when Henry VIII wanted shot of his wife but still wanted to go to heaven. With the monks unceremoniously booted out and their chapel destroyed, Henry sold the abbey to a royalist for the bargain price of a couple of hundred pounds. This lucky royalist was John Byron, a very distant ancestor of the Lord Byron.

But how did it come to be publicly owned, which bits are original, when did the lavvies get put in, and why did Lord Byron flog his ancestral home that had been in his family for three centuries? Newstead Abbey is not only beautiful to look at, its walls hum with the layers of history that resonate within. We popped down for Byron’s birthday in January to be shown around and were honoured to get a special peek in his bedroom as well as be told the fascinating history of the building, its evolution and its occupants. We can’t spill every detail that we learnt that night as it would ruin the fun, but we can tell you that we are now feel a lot wiser even if we don’t know exactly why Bryon slept with a loaded pistol by his bed every night.

A mere twenty minutes from Nottingham city centre, it’s easily accessible by bus and car, if you’ve not yet managed to visit Newstead Abbey then you should make some time for it this year.  The grounds are open all year round from 9am to 4pm and there are tours of the house every Sunday at 12pm, 1pm, and 2pm. More excitingly though, there are special tours that run throughout the year.

Events coming up include Festival of Words hosting a day of literary events on Saturday 9 February that includes an evening two hour performance storytelling show as well as poetry events throughout the day. And for those who like to indulge in the ethereal and macabre there’s A Victorian Ghost Evening on Friday 22 February at 6.30pm and 8.30pm; get taken around the many rooms of the house and hear about the strange happenings, spectral beings and numerous hauntings that Newstead has amassed over the last nine centuries. 

The Festival of Words comes to Newstead Abbey on Saturday 9 Feb.

Poetry and Storytelling: Six Leaves, Two Poets, 1pm-2pm; Words from the Abbey, 2pm-3pm; Dori K 3pm - 3.30pm. FREE 
 
Poetry, Landscape and Radicals: Love of Landscape, 5pm - 5.40pm; Byron, the First Rock Star? 5.40pm-6.20pm; Radically Good Poetry, 6.20pm-7pm. £7 (£5 concs) total.  
 
Something in the Shadows rounds off the evening with some spooky stories from Little Gem Storytelling 8pm - 10pm. £10 (£8 concs) 
 
A Victorian Ghost Evening, Friday 22 February, 6.30pm & 8.30pm. £15

Newstead Abbey website

 

Share this article



Ads by Google


Comments


comments powered by Disqus

Share Tools

Go to comments Read comments and make your own

LeftLion Magazine

Read our entire archive online

LeftLion Magazine
more info

Most read this monthalt

  • LeftLion Magazine #69
    With Saint Raymond, Liam Bailey, Tristram Aver, Luke Fletcher, The Dilettante Society, Dukki, Suspect Alibi, Nottingham Caesars and more
  • Lucy Carless
    "I wasn't half the person I am now when I first joined [Television Workshop]. I was shy, but it teaches you to embrace who you are"
  • Doggen
    Guns N' Roses, Spiritualized, Girls Aloud, Julian Cope... Doggen's career has seen him bumping guitars with a whole range of musicians
  • These Seven: Reading Flashmob This Friday
    Ready... Steady... Book. Get down to Old Market Square at 6.30pm on Friday to be part of a massive reading flashmob
  • Nusic Presents: Saint Raymond
    To celebrate SR's debut album, Nusic filmed him around Notts and got him to perform a few songs
  • Five Reasons You Should Go To Splendour 2015
    The annual bash at Wayne Manor is now in its eighth year and shows no sign of slowing down
  • LeftLion Magazine #70
    With Motormouf, Kagoule, Hollaback!, Ady Sulieman, Karlsruhe, Zoo Indigo, Nottingham Playhouse Conspiracy Season, George Green, and more
  • Win Tramlines Festival Tickets
    Want to win two tickets to see the Wu Tang Clan, Basement Jaxx, The Charlatans, The Sugar Hill Gang, Gilles Peterson, Kate Tempest and more
  • Y Not Festival 2015
    It may be across the border in Derbyshire, but don't let that put you off – there's more than enough Notts talent to see you through the weekend.
  • Pick of the Week: 20 - 26 July
    Prehistoric creatures are roaming our city this week, a long with bunch of pretty gobby poets

Event Listings alt

There aren't any tickets available for sale. view all events

LeftLion on Facebook

 

Ads by Google