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Tours > Robin Hood's Nottingham > Newstead Abbey

Newstead Abbey
Six miles south of Mansfield (542538)

Newstead Abbey Newstead Abbey was in fact a priory, the home of Augustinian Canons from the time of its foundation in 1163. It is possible that the monastic cell at Fountains Dale was attached to this monastery. It was the supposed home of Friar Tuck and the canons are said to have placed a curse on the spring there after he was ousted from his cell.

After the Dissolution, Newstead was purchased by Sir John Byron of Colwick who promptly demolished all but the west front of the abbey church in order to build himself a grand mansion. This building did, however, incorporate many of the remaining monastic buildings and there is much of the ancient monastery still to see encased in the later house: the chapter house, several undercrofts, the cloister. The park was landscaped in the 18th century and there are a number of interesting follies erected by the 5th 'Wicked' Lord Byron. He liked to re-enact famous Naval Battles on the lake.

The house is best known as the home of the Lord Byron, the famous poet, but it was sourly neglected during his time there. Fortunately, debts forced him to sell up to an old school friend who affected a complete restoration. It was given to the local council in 1931. The estate now forms a public park and the house is open to the public.

Next Stop: Robin Hood's Seat, Annesley

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