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24 September 2014
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Audley End
Image: Audley End.
Audley End
Audley End near Saffron Walden has a long and varied history in which episodes of spectacular building have been followed by periods of severe decline.
SEE ALSO
Restoration Index
Coalhouse Fort
Hylands House
Restoration Diary
Restoration Factsheet
BBC History
WEB LINKS
English Heritage
Heritage Open Days
Hylands House
The Heritage Trail

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FACTS

Audley End was built in 1603-14 by the first Earl of Suffolk.

The landscaped park was largely designed by Capability Brown.

During the Second World War Audley End served as the secret headquarters of the Polish section of the Special Operations Executive.

The house was purchased for the nation in 1948 and is now in the care of the English Heritage.

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Audley End was built in 1603-14 by the first Earl of Suffolk (Thomas Howard). It was intended to provide accommodation for visiting royalty.

It is reputed that Thomas Howard told King James he had spent some £200,000 on creating this grand house, and it may be that the King had unwittingly contributed.

Image: Audley End.
Audley End (photo: Martin Duncan © English Heritage)
Four year later, Thomas and his wife were found guilty of embezzlement and sent to the Tower of London.

However, a huge
fine secured their release but Howard died in disgrace at Audley End in 1626.

Over the following century, the house was gradually reduced and altered.

In 1762 Audley End was given a new lease of life by Sir John Griffin Griffin. He created an elegant
suite of reception rooms with the help of architect Robert Adam.

Image: The Tea Bridge.
The Tea Bridge
During the 18th century the magnificent park was transformed from formal gardens into one of ‘Capability’ Brown’s most successful pastoral landscapes and remains substantially as it was when first created.

Later features include a restored Parterre garden, a rose garden and fountains, and the restored 19th century walled kitchen garden now in use as a working organic kitchen garden.

Image: Laundry.
Laundry
English Heritage is continuing to develop Audley End. They are opening up service areas, such as the kitchen, dairy and laundry.

In 2000 the newly restored gardens were opened.

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