RE OPENING FROM 5TH JULY 2020
FUTURE GROUNDS OPENING TIMES
Only Assistance dogs are allowed
The house is open by guided tour only.
Limited spaces on house tours
last admission to grounds is 4pm
please check directions before setting off as some sat navs will take you to the wrong location
With humble beginnings as a Cistercian monastic house in 1154, Stoneleigh Abbey was converted at the Dissolution into a comfortable family home. One of the seats of the Leigh family, Stoneleigh has played host to several people of note, including King Charles I, Queen Victoria, and novelist Jane Austen.
The fine Grade 1 listed English Mansion House is comprised of two halves; the first, made of red sandstone, is a fine example of a Jacobean house, built from the ruins of the monastery. The second, the West Wing, was designed by famous architect Francis Smith of Warwick in the Baroque style. Visitors to the Abbey can learn more of the house's history through a guided tour of the West Wing.
Jane Austen &
Stoneleigh Abbey was inherited by a relative of Jane Austen's mother, the Reverend Thomas Leigh. Jane Austen stayed with her mother in August 1806 as his guests. Many people feel that Stoneleigh Abbey was the model for Mansfield Park. But it is the reaction, of Jane's mother to the Abbey that is most interesting. During her visit with Jane she wrote a long letter to her daughter-in-law Mary detailing the house, the food, the servants.
In 1809, Humphry Repton, the most respected landscape gardener of his time, was invited to Stoneleigh Abbey by Reverend Thomas Leigh to advise him on updating the Abbey landscape. Repton created one of his ‘Red Books’, a collection of watercolour images of the house and grounds as they existed with overlays to suggest alterations to the estate. While not all of his suggestions were implemented, the result is a stunning natural landscape with superb views. Enjoy the new Cordelia Leigh Bridge and walks along the Gazebo island, our Victorian Pump House has been restored . The Red book has now been completely digitised so you can see every page.
Sorry Dogs are not allowed in the grounds