L.L. Diamond

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Audley End house is a Jacobean manor just outside Saffron Walden in Essex. Once an abbey, it was given to Lord Chancellor Sir Thomas Audley in 1537 by Henry VIII and was renovated to a home. Over time, parts of it have been demolished until all that’s left is what remains, which is approximately 1/3 the original size. It’s now in the hands of  English Heritage.

After we left Hitchin Lavender, we had a devil of a time trying to eat lunch. England was playing in a World Cup game that day and let me tell you, it’s hard to find a pub serving food on those days! They all looked at us like we were growing a third head when we asked, too!

We were headed for Audley End anyway, so we stopped into the cafe and found food we could all eat or snack on before we looked at the house and continued on home for the evening. We arrived fairly close to closing time so we didn’t have a huge amount of time.

I wish I could say that they allowed interior photography but they don’t so the best I can do is suggest you do a search for the interior shots because English Heritage does have them online since I can’t legally post them here.

The inside is ornate, particularly the ceilings like most Jacobean homes, and several famous names can be found on the artwork (Canaletto for one). The nursery was great with the toys and the dollhouse still remaining for viewers to see. The gardens were dry, but with the lack of rain we’d had to that point, everything was dry.

I know this wasn’t a very detailed blog post (and I apologise for that!!!), but without the interior pictures, it’s difficult to describe everything to you as a reader. Because of closing time, we didn’t walk many of the walks and it was a hot day. By the time we finished the tour of the house, we were ready to go home for the evening. I will say that if you’re in the area, I definitely recommend stopping by Audley End.


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4 thoughts on “Audley End House

  1. What an intriguing place!! I’ll look up some of the interior shots after I finish my comment, but I am fascinated by homes that once were abbeys. That’s the one thing about Anglicanism that steams me: the way Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries and abbeys. Selfish man!

    I just re-read Particular Intentions and Particular Attachments this past week, and they are both such lovely, lovely books! Thank you for writing and sharing them with us, Leslie!

    And I have been so enjoying your tour. Although I may be nestled in my mountain village in Southern California, my heart is ever in the UK! Thanks again for sharing it with us!

    Susanne 🙂


    1. I’m thrilled you enjoyed your re-reads! A lot of the old abbeys and churches are beautiful, even if they’re in ruins. I do like rambling through them when I get the chance. Thanks, Susanne!


  2. I have never heard of this one but being from the states I imagine it is like that for many British Heritage estates. Sad that the cost of maintaining them means that families no longer have them as homes. Interesting that there were toys and a doll house. I would have liked to have seen just what those were. Thanks for sharing.


    1. There are a lot of English Heritage and National Trust properties. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been just the cost of maintaining them but also the death taxes, which are high in the UK. It was usually when someone died and the subsequent generation couldn’t pay the taxes. Downton Abbey covered this some with the inheritance issues they faced on that show. Thanks, Sheila!


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