Delapré Abbey is a place I have been going to for years. From siting in the courtyard garden having coffee and cake with a newborn and friends when the cafe was run by volunteers. To taking both boys to Forest school within the grounds, and now visiting with my fiancé and all of our children, watching them explore the gardens whilst sitting outside the Orangery. It’s safe to say it holds a special place in my heart. So it was lovely to be invited to the grand opening of Delapré Abbey and get to be one of the first people to see inside. There is a whole programme full of events for all the family this weekend for the opening (you can see all the details on my Facebook page).
The theme around the re-openingof Delapré Abbey is 900 years of history. A former Nunnery, and then private home to the Tate and Bouverie families, the Abbey has been restored to reflect its history from the medieval period through to the 20th century, including the Battle of Northampton.
There are 5 storytelling zones across the stable block and the main house which have been designed to be engaging for visitors of all ages and they welcome families with their hands-on, interactive displays. They want to see children playing on the rugs, sitting on the chairs and getting engrossed in the history of the house! As a parent I love this as we all know what it’s like trying to stop an inquisitive toddler or wanting to be able to get closer ourselves. There are no ceremonial walkways or barriers here!
The Battlefield room is particularly hands on with a show to watch.
The Orangery is open all year round and is a lovely place to sit inside, or out, with stunning views whilst enjoying a drink and some food. Then spend some time in the courtyard garden, it’s beautiful and calm.
I love the emphasis on local with the gift shop including locally produced items along with reasonably priced children’s gifts.
Delapré Abbey has lots going on for all the family from Easter egg hunts to gong baths. Check their event schedule out.
All of this wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the Northampton Borough Council who worked closely with the Delapré Abbey Preservation Trust and the Friends of Delapré Abbey to help develop plans to safeguard the Abbey’s future. Over the years it had proposals to be turned into private structures, knocked down and built upon and then completely falling into disrepair. The award of a £3.65 million Heritage Lottery Fund grant in 2013 meant that the first phase of these ambitious restoration and regeneration plans could begin.
Support this amazing project so that more can be uncovered and restored. I would love to be able to see the plunge pool that has been found!
It’s free to see around the grounds and visit the Orangery. To see inside Delapré Abbey tickets are £7 for and adult and free for under 18’s.