Family Entertainment

A wonderful summer at Nottingham’s Newstead Abbey

The beautiful Newstead Abbey grounds is famous for the ancestral home of Lord Byron, a popular romantic poet of the era until his debts forced him to sell the house in 1817. The interior holds an extensive exhibit of Byronian mementoes which can still be seen today. Generations of Byron’s transformed the medieval abbey into a grand residence which is why Newstead Abbey gets so many visitors each year. Many of the original abbey features were left more or less intact after the Byron’s sold on, including the cloisters, refectory, kitchen, and the stew pond where the canons kept fish.

Newstead Abbey features a collection of items that span the centuries, from when Newstead first became a private house, right up to the present day. It includes paintings, objects, letters, maps and photographs associated with the estate, including a collection of the eighteenth-century views of Newstead Abbey by artist Pieter Tillemans. Visitors can linger over displays and reading material in the Gothic Revival Library, or idle at the expansive panelling in the Great Hall, all alleged to have come from one great oak tree.


Houses and Gardens

The house stands in a magnificent landscape garden displaying many medieval features. Traditional winding paths lead through a Japanese garden, fernery, French garden, Spanish garden, and past herbaceous borders. Eventually, after walking through the exotic botanical gardens, you’ll approach a formal area with a small walled garden and rose garden, and the Great Garden laid out beyond the monk’s stew pond, which is believed to be over 800 years old.

When you visit, the public can see for themselves Byron’s bedchamber, with his own pistol laid out on a night table beside the grand prestigious bed which he brought here from the handymen in Cambridge. When walking around you can see the props of the room, such as read letters and manuscripts penned by Byron. You’ll see drawings, family furniture, and the desk where he wrote much of his most famous poetry: the whole atmosphere feels as if you’re in a museum. There is also a large collection of Victorian photographs showing how the abbey looked in the late 19th century, including paintings and portraits.

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Newstead is a place you could spend as long as you want, always find something new and interesting to look at. If you enjoy Lord Byron’s poetry, the whole experience is wonderful and educational, and even if you don’t know of Byron, it is still a wonderful historic house with a superb garden and parkland, perfect for walking your furry friend or enjoying a picnic on a hot summers day.

Newstead is an absolute delight to visit, therefore, below we have put together all of the events happening this summer, so you can visit Newstead Abbey yourself:

As You Like It Show

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players…” Welcome to the Forest of Arden, a world of clowns, lovers, runaways and rebels.”


Pilates and Mindfulness Workshop

How would you like to spend the day experiencing the complementary principles of Mindfulness and
Pilates, along with a superb afternoon tea, refreshments throughout the day, all in the exquisite setting
of the garden room, overlooking the beautiful grounds of Newstead Abbey?


‘Discovering Newstead’ Celebration

Two of our stunning ground floor rooms have been completely redeveloped, to give a comprehensive introduction to Newstead and our most celebrated resident- the extraordinary nineteenth-century poet, Lord Byron.

The galleries have been developed to be accessible for all – in every sense of the phrase. We have consulted with a huge range of local people so that we can share the story of Newstead as widely as possible. The rooms are fully accessible for wheelchair users and for visitors with other access needs. We especially welcome families of all ages to enjoy the space together.


Associated Talks Ruins and Improvements with Nicholas Alfrey

This talk focuses on Paul Sandby’s depictions of ruins in the landscape, particularly his remarkable aquatints of castles in Wales. We will explore how such images of a ruined past relate to the scenes of prosperity and improvement that also attracted him as an artist. Nicholas Alfrey is the Research Associate in the Department of History of Art at the University of Nottingham.


Summer at Newstead Abbey – Kids go free around the House

From Romantic Poet Lord Byron through Medieval, Victorian and Gothic Revival, Newstead Abbey is a treasure trove of the rare, beautiful and historically significant. Boasting 300 acres of parkland, explore the gardens, lake and beautiful estate.


Pirates of Penzance

With hilarious drama, sharp satire and glittering wit, Pirates of Penzance pack a musical punch with memorable songs including I Am A Pirate King, Modern Major General and A Policeman’s Lot is Not a Happy One.


Associated Talks A Curator’s View

Join Louise Dunning, Curator of Fine and Decorative Arts, and Simon Brown, Curator of Newstead Abbey, for an insightful and detailed look at the works of art in the exhibition Harmonising Landscapes – Paul Sandby RA. You will also hear about the life and work of Paul Sandby, his use of creating fictional (Capriccio) compositions, as well as his relationship to 18th century Newstead and the surrounding areas.


Associated Talks A Curator’s View

A chance to join Louise Dunning, Curator of Fine and Decorative Arts, and Simon Brown, Curator of Newstead Abbey, for an insightful and detailed look at the works of art in the exhibition.


One reply on “A wonderful summer at Nottingham’s Newstead Abbey”

Loved this place growing up bought back some amazing memories well done Molly Dixon will definitely be revisiting this summer xxx

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