Abington Park Manor House - Northampton, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Dragontree
N 52° 14.768 W 000° 51.989
30U E 645654 N 5790558
Quick Description: This old Manor House stands in Abington Park in Northampton and is now a museum.
Location: East Midlands, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 5/21/2008 1:36:37 PM
Waymark Code: WM3VG1
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Saddlesore1000
Views: 82

Long Description:
The Great Hall is the original feature of the Manor House and displays the Oak panelling throughout the entire room as part of the museum. This is the oldest part of the house dating back to its time of construction in 1500. John Bernard was the architect and incorporated a hammerbeam roof with the oak panelling. Today, this is called the Oak Room and is the central room of a much bigger house.

In the 1660s the house was enlarged but remained in John Bernard's family. In the south side of the building a new range of rooms were built, an entrance to the Great Hall and a fine oak staircase with large rooms on either side of it. In 1669 the house was sold.

William Thursby, a lawyer and judge, bought the house for £13,750. He was an MP for Northampton during 1698 and 1701. In 1736 a distant relative of William's called John Harvey inherited the house. He was also a lawyer and MP; he married and had 11 children at Abington.

In 1738-43 a new range of rooms were built on the East side of the house. Using a Classical style in this new fashion the stone mullions on the south side were altered to include Georgian sash windows to compliment the whole building. The date of 1743 is visible high up on the rain water outlets.

After the Napoleonic Wars the Thursbys had to sell the estate in 1841. It was sold for £88,000 and was no longer a family home with the contents put to auction. Lewis Loyd, who was a banker, bought the estate and then subsequently let it to Dr Thomas Octavius Prichard who ran it as a mental asylum. It was during this time that the single storey large room on the west of the courtyard was added together with many of the cast iron fireplaces.

The asylum closed down in 1892 and the Manor House and its estate of 20 acres were given to Northampton. This saw the demolishion of the Tudor stables on the north and the central courtyard was enclosed.

Upon being given to the town the first part of the house was opened to the public as a cafe in the East Wing. Other artifacts were collected and the museum you see today began to take shape. Electric lighting was installed in 1964 and more and more rooms were opened and displays created.

In 1994 the building was reopened after being fully restored. It houses displays including social history, a 19th century fashion gallery, Northampton Life from the Cradle to the Grave and Northamptonshire's Military History. Standing in open parkland and being free to all the area and museum are well worth a visit.
Earliest Recorded Date of Construction: 1/1/1500

Additional Dates of Construction:
1660s - House enlarged 1669 - House sold to Willam Thursby 1736 - Inherited by John Harvey 1738-43 - Classical style introduced and Georgian sash windows added 1841 - House sold to Lewis Loyd who let it as a mental asylum. Single Storey room on west added and many cast iron fireplaces 1892 - Asylum closed and house given to Northampton. Stables demolished and courtyard enclosed. Cafe in East Wing opened 1964 - Electric lighting installed 1994 - Fully restored and reopened as a complete museum

Architectural Period/Style: Tudor with Georgian additions

Architect (if known): John Bernard

Type of Building e.g. Country House, Stately Home, Manor:
Manor House

Interesting Historical Facts or Connections:
Once a Manor House in a place with few neighbouring properties, now a museum in Northampton town.

Listed Building Status (if applicable): Grade 1 Listed Building

Main Material of Construction: Northampton Stone

Private/Public Access: Public

Opening Hours (if applicable): From: 1:00 PM To: 4:00 PM

Related Website: [Web Link]


Landscape Designer (if known): Not listed

Admission Fee (if applicable): Not Listed

Visit Instructions:
Tell us about your visit with any details of interest about the property. Please supply at least one original photograph from a different aspect taken on your current visit.
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greysman visited Abington Park Manor House - Northampton, UK 4/5/2010 greysman visited it