Audley End House

Audley End House is a largely early 17th-century country house outside Saffron Walden, Essex, England. It was once a prodigy house, a palace in all but name and renowned as one of the finest Jacobean houses in England.

Audley End was the site of Walden Abbey, a Benedictine monastery that was granted to the Lord Chancellor Sir Thomas Audley in 1538 by Henry VIII. The abbey was converted to a domestic house for him and was known as Audley Inn. It was demolished by his grandson, Thomas Howard (first Earl of Suffolk, fourth creation, and Lord Treasurer), and a much grander mansion was built, primarily for entertaining the king, James I.

The layout reflects the processional route of the king and queen, each having their own suite of rooms. It is reputed that Thomas Howard told King James he had spent some £200,000 creating this grand house, and it may be that the king had unwittingly contributed. In 1619, Suffolk and his wife were found guilty of embezzlement and sent to the Tower of London but a huge fine secured their release. Suffolk died in disgrace at Audley End in 1626.

At this time, the house was on the scale of a great royal palace, and became one when Charles II bought it in 1668 for £5 for use as a home when attending the races at Newmarket. It was returned to the Suffolks in 1701.

Over the next century, parts of the house were gradually demolished until it was reduced to its current size. The main structure has remained little altered since the main front court was demolished in 1708 and the east wing came down in 1753. Some rooms have been substantially remodelled especially the huge hall.

Unfortunately it is not allowed to take pictures inside the main house.

The twenty closest neighbours in the database:

Cambridge (United Kingdom) (21 km), Hatfield House (41 km), St Albans (United Kingdom) (48 km), Tower of London (61 km), London (United Kingdom) (62 km), Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms (62 km), Hampton Court Palace (79 km), Hughenden Manor (79 km), Waddesdon Manor (82 km), Leeds Castle (90 km), Canterbury (United Kingdom) (102 km), Oxford (United Kingdom) (106 km), Blenheim Palace (110 km), Bodiam Castle (115 km), Warwick Castle (126 km), Stratford-upon-Avon (United Kingdom) (133 km), Brighton (United Kingdom) (135 km), Arundel Castle (140 km), Beachy Head (143 km), Lincoln (United Kingdom) (144 km)

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