A famous example of early-17th-century architecture, Audley End was once owned by Charles II, who bought it as a convenient place to break his journey on the way to the Newmarket races. Although the palatial building was remodeled in the 18th and 19th centuries, the Jacobean style is still on display in the magnificent Great Hall. You can walk in the park, landscaped by Capability Brown in the 18th century, and the fine Victorian gardens. Two exhibits focus on the lives
of domestic servants in the late 19th century. A 2014 renovation opened up the Nursery Suite, bedecked in 1830s style, and the Coal Gallery, which once provided hot water for the family upstairs (though not the servants). The Service Wing lets you look "below stairs" at the kitchen, scullery (where fish were descaled and chickens were plucked), and game larder (where pheasants, partridges, and rabbits were hung), while the Stable Yard give kids the chance to see old saddles and tack, and don Victorian riding costumes. The house is in Saffron Waldon, 14 miles south of Cambridge.
Jun 29, 2007
Arrive early in the day and enjoy a small group tour through the Jacobean home by knowlegeable guides. Beautiful carpets and furnishings make this stop memorable. I especially liked the box and yew "cloud" hedges. Children and teachers were attired in period dress and learning about how the household was run. Very interesting landscape garden complete with a "watch" peacock perched on a stele at the front door. Several different periods of decorating
style were preserved in this beautiful house. Remarkable state of preservation of fabrics throughout entire house.