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Callow End, Worcestershire, United Kingdom
The Fascinating History of Stanbrook Abbey
The story of Stanbrook Abbey can be traced back to 1272, when Stanbroc End (meaning spring or stony brook) was first mentioned in medieval records. Almost 500 years later Stanbrook Hall was built on the site for a gentleman called Richard Case.
Meanwhile, in 1625, the English Benedictine Congregation, exiled from England by Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries, founded a religious community for nuns in Cambrai, northern France. In 1793 the French Revolution forced the 22 nuns to return to England, eventually settling near Liverpool and then at historic Salford Hall, near Evesham.
God helps those who help themselves
In 1835, hearing that the Stanbrook Hall site was for sale, the nuns made discreet enquiries about a possible purchase. Catholicism was still discouraged in England at this time so they were forced to use subterfuge - no Protestant would knowingly consent to sell their property to a Catholic, especially to a Catholic religious order. A Benedictine monk, disguised as a country gentleman with an apparent interest in hunting and fine wine, surveyed the property in 1836. Four other monks, also disguised as laymen, concluded the sale some weeks later. Only months after this did the previous owner realise, too late, that he had been misled.
Bring up the bodies
The nuns, under cover of darkness, secretly dug up the bodies of their number who had died during their time at Salford Hall. These were placed in a large leaden case aboard a four-wheeled waggon with "excellent springs" and smuggled to their new resting place – despite nearly being stopped on Worcester Bridge by a toll keeper who was suspicious about the heavy load.
A Gothic Revival masterpiece takes shape
Anxious not to upset their new neighbours, the nuns cautiously began to extend the buildings. However, by 1860 they felt confident enough to commission Edward Welby Pugin and his two brothers to undertake a major scheme of work. Sons of Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin, who created the sumptuous Gothic wallpapers, carvings, stained glass, floor tiles, metalwork and furnishings that grace the Houses of Parliament, their family architectural practice was a leading proponent of the Gothic Revival style much loved by Victorians. Over the next 20 years they created the church, cloisters, tower and other buildings at Stanbrook that you see today.
Learn more: http://www.amazingvenues.co.uk/StanbrookAbbey
Stanbrook Abbey was converted from the original Stanbrook Manor, a contemplative house for Benedictine nuns. The nuns cautiously extended the original buildings and in 1860 commissioned Edward Welby Pugin and his two brothers to undertake a major scheme of work in Gothic Revival style much loved by the Victorians. Over 20 years they created the church, tower and the other buildings at Stanbrook seen today. The cloisters were also created at this time and are one of the most breath-taking aspects of the Abbey, providing a dramatic and inspirational backdrop for any occasion.
Stanbrook Abbey has an impressive range of function rooms which all offer something unique and provide perfect locations for any filming requirement. The Callow Great Hall boasts a stunning vaulted ceiling and carefully designed stained glass windows. The Piano Lounge provides a perfect reception area and features a stunning grand piano. St Anne’s Hall is a large banqueting space which can be opened up onto an outdoor balcony and terrace.
The Abbey will shortly boast 52 refurbished bedroom suites all with their own unique character and adorned with antique furnishings, rich fabrics and all the modern facilities you would expect from an establishment of this class. The Grooms Room is decorated with gentlemen in mind and features natural dark wood and is flooded in natural light. It has a relaxing yet quirky décor, bringing a homely feel to this stunning venue.
Stanbrook also has a stunning Georgian Manor House, built long before the Abbey, providing supremely comfortable and stylish accommodation. The rooms are generously proportioned and sympathetically refurbished to create impressive interiors that combine classic elegance with swanky chic. It offers five beautiful en-suite bedrooms including a Master Suite with a separate dressing room, as well as a well equipped kitchen and a number of reception rooms in which to relax or entertain.
Whatever you are looking for, Stanbrook Abbey offers a historic setting suitable for any filming or photography event. Let us know your brief and we will be sure to make your vision become a reality.
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