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.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: