Audley End House & Gardens

Audley End House, Essex
Audley End House - © Paul W Wells

Audley End House & Gardens are located close to Saffron Walden in Essex and has been described as among the finest country houses in England. The imposing house and impressive gardens offer visitors the chance to explore the site that is steeped in history and tradition. Visitors can see lavish house with its ornate and striking interiors along with the scenic gardens in a quintessential English country house. The house is a popular heritage attraction offering a fascinating day out for the whole family.

Attractions


Audley End House & Gardens are well known for the impressive country house and surrounding gardens. Visitors to the site can see the grandeur of the house & gardens and contrast this to the Service Wing where servants would work to ensure the running of the house. It was King Henry VIII who gave Walden Abbey to Sir Thomas Audley, who proceeded to transformed it into Audley End. There are over thirty lavish and grandly decorated rooms for visitors to see and explore further.

Sir Thomas Audley's grandson Thomas Howard, the 1st Earl of Suffolk oversaw the large scale rebuilding of the mansion from 1603 to 1614, it was transformed in to a house three times the size he house currently is and among the largest mansions in the UK. However the house fell in to decline with changes in ownership and by 1701 the house was back with the Suffolk family.

In 1745 the house was purchased by the Countess of Portsmouth for her nephew and heir, Sir John Griffin who would later become the 1st Baron Braybrooke. There were extensive repair works and modifications made to the house and 'Capability' Brown's services were used to remodel and design the grounds.

Currently the house's interior shows a style from the 3rd Baron Braybrooke when in the 1820s the rooms were decorated with a Jacobean style. There is an extensive picture collection whilst the rooms contain a number of inherited furnishings. The 4th Baron Braybrooke's natural history collection is an interesting feature for visitors to the house. The rooms within the house are a mixture of styles and reflect the changes in ownership over the years.

The Service Wing provides visitors with a wonderful and though provoking insight in to the live and times of the domestic staff that worked at the mansion. Visitors can see a number of rooms these include the kitchen, laundries, dairy and dry larder. The rooms have been imaginatively refurnished and re-equipped with both original and reproduction Victorian fittings and fixtures.

All of this combined with the film projection and sights and sounds of the era are all brought to life for visitors to get a great understanding of the era. Visitors will be able to appreciate how much work, planning and coordination went in to the smooth running of a mansion at the time.

On special designated days visitors can see from costumed interpreters that are washing, ironing and cooking as they would have done in yesteryear. This helps visitors to interact with the interpreters and gain a better understanding of the history of the mansion and what life was like here all those years ago.

The Gardens form a highlight for any visit to the mansion. There has been much restoration work done to bring the Gardens back to past glories. There is a lake that runs through the 18th century parkland. The Classical Temple of Concord was built back in 1790 in honour of George III and the 19th-century formal parterre garden that has been carefully restored form the dominant views from the rear of the house.

Visitors can see Robert Adam's ornamental garden buildings and the Elysian Garden cascade. There is also an organic walled Victorian kitchen garden that is a must see for visitors.

How to Get There


The House can be accessed by both car and public transport:

By Car:

Saffron Walden is located approx 47 miles from central London. The approx journey time is 1 hour 45 minutes from London. From London take the A11 then the A12 then the A406 North Circular, drive until junction 4 and exit on to the M11. Drive up to junction 8a on the M11 and exit toward B. Stortford/A120, drive on the A120 until the next roundabout and take the 3rd exit onto the B1383. Drive along the B1383 for approx 10 miles and there will be a turning on the right for the House and Gardens.

There are parking facilities on site.

For those using Satellite Navigation systems the postcode is CB11 4JF.

By Train:

From London Liverpool Street Station in central London there are regular trains available to Audley End Station. The journey time is approx 1 hour. Audley end Station is approx 1 and a quarter miles from the House & Gardens. From the station visitors can take the Stansted Transit 301 bus to Saffron Walden High Street, which is half a mile from the house.

Contact Details


Audley End House & Gardens
Saffron Walden
CB11 4JF
United Kingdom

Telephone: +44 (0)1799 522399

Website: Audley End House - English Heritage


Facilities & Information


>Opening Times:

Open from April until start of November:

Open between 11.00 until 17.00 (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Bank Holiday Monday from April until end of September)

Open between 11.00 until 16.00 (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday for October)

NOTE: It is recommended visitors check before going to ensure the House & Gardens are open before going.

Further Information:

Admission Prices:

Adults: £10.70 approx, Children: £5.40 approx, Concessions: £9.10 approx and Family ticket: £27 approx


Facilities:

For Disabled visitors motorised wheelchairs can be booked in advance. There are disabled toilets facilities.

The Tea Room offers a range of refreshments, drinks and light snacks.

The shop offers a range of gifts, souvenirs, books and memorabilia.

Map



View Larger Map

For Local Search and Directions see: Audley End House Map

Tips & Other Considerations


Opening hours may vary depending on the time of year and other factors. It is recommended visitors double check before going to ensure the attraction you wish to see is open.

Follow sensible travel tips & advice and remain alert, vigilant and aware of your surroundings at all times. Ensure valuables i.e. your wallet/purse are hidden away from public view. If you have a bag try to use a shoulder bag with a good quality, strong strap, that is put across your shoulder not on your shoulder making it more difficult for anyone to take your bag.

If you are travelling by car to Saffron Walden in Essex, ensure you are well prepared with maps and Sat Nav to aid your journey, particularly if you are not familiar with the local area and roads. Use the Journey Planning tool to find door to door directions for your trip. Check the traffic updates before you travel.

If you are travelling by public transport, check for service updates before travelling for any delays, disruption or cancellations to services that may impact on your journey. Ensure you have the service timetables for the trains, buses and coaches. Remember when the last services are and ensure you make it to the train/bus/coach stops in time.




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