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Anglesey Abbey

Visited June 2023

Location Lode, nr Cambridge
Entrance Fee Yes
Railway Station Nearby No 
Parking Yes
Facilities Cafe, Gift Shop , Toilets







Angelsey Abbey is situated about 6 miles outside of Cambridge. As so many of the other abbeys in England, it was dissolved in the reign of Henry VIII and the buildings and land sold off. Founded in 1135 by Henry I, it was home to an order of Augustinian Canons, until granted to a rich lawyer John Hynde in 1536. The majority of the abbey was demolished at this time, and the stone used to build nearby Madingley Hall.


In 1609 the Fowkes family bought the property and built a large Jacobean house, incorporating the remainder of the monastic buildings into it. This was in turn renovated in the 19th century, and more of the old monastic remains were taken down at this point. 





It was the 20th century owners who really shaped the property into the way it is for today's visitors. The wealthy brothers  Urban and Henry Broughton restored the house, creating a dining room in the part of the house that had once been the monk's day room. The living room was also part of the old abbey, having been the Chapter House. In the library there is one window which has autographs of visiting royals etched onto it, including Queen Elizabeth. We were told to look out for this by the volunteer on the door of the house, but when we actually looked at it we were told off by the room steward, which was an unfortunate experience as on the whole the staff were very helpful.



The brothers were prolific collectors, and the interior of the house still includes many of their curiosities. The grounds also have many sculptures dotted around, some of their time and some more contemporary. The brothers also developed the grounds into the beautiful gardens that can be enjoyed today. 






Anglesey Abbey was given to the National Trust in 1966, and since then they have added a Visitors' Centre with a very nice cafe serving hot food and snacks, and a children's playground, as well as maintaining and developing the gardens.There is also a restored working water mill, Lode Mill, which can be visited. The walk up to the Mill is very picturesque, but there is deep water to one side of the path so beware with small children.


On the day we visited there was a children's trail which was based on Mog the Cat, with activities stationed around the grounds. 






More info:  National Trust Angelsey Abbey

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