Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for NEWSTEAD-PRIORY

NEWSTEAD-PRIORY, an extra-parochial liberty in Basford district, Notts; adjacent to the Nottingham and Mansfield railway, S W of Sherwood forest, and 5 miles S of Mansfield. It has a station on .the railway, private on most days, but public on Saturdays. Real property, £2,024. Pop. in 1851, 155; in 1861, 108. Houses, 18. Newstead-Abbey, 1 mile E of the r. station, was founded for black canons, in 1170, by Henry II., in penance for the murder of Thomas-à -Becket; was visited by Edward III.; was given, at the dissolution, to Sir John by ron, then lieutenant of Sherwood forest; was used as a residence by the byron family till 1818; was visited, in their time, by Henry VII. and Charles II.; suffered considerable injury, from the parliamentarian forces, in the civil wars of Charles I.; underwent considerable alteration by John, Lord by ron, in the time of Charles II., onoccasion of the king's visit; is notable in associationwith the poet Lord by ron, and with sketches by Washington Irving and William Howitt; was sold in 1818 to Col. Wildman, who restored and extended it; is now, through purchase, a seat of W. F. Webb, Esq., who has further restored and embellished it; and stands amid beautiful grounds, containing many objects which recall incidents in the life of the poet byron, or passages in his poems. The W front is all that remains of the abbeychurch; is in the geometrical decorated English style; and has a large window of exquisite design, between buttresses with niches for statutes, flanked by large blank-traceried windows. The chapter-house still stands; measures 24 feet each way; is transition-Norman; and has a groined roof, supported by two pillars. The abbot's apartments were the mansion of the byrons; and comprise the poet's bedroom and dressing-room, and the haunted chamber, in the same state as when he occupied them. The ancient refectory is now the grand dining-hall; the rooms which were occupied by Edward III., Henry VII. and Charles II. still retain their names, and are richly hung with tapestry; and the grand saloon is a splendid apartment, with open oak roof, and containing, among many other enrichments, the famous portrait of byron by Philips. The old edifice was described, asfollows, by byron himself:

A glorious remnant of the Gothic pile
stood half apart
In a grand arch which once screened many an aisle.
These last had disappeareda loss to art:
The first yet frowned superbly o'er the soil,
And kindled feelings in the roughest heart,
Which mourned the power of Time's or Tempest's march,
In gazing on that venerable arch."


(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "an extra-parochial liberty"   (ADL Feature Type: "countries, 4th order divisions")
Administrative units: Basford PLU/RegD       Nottinghamshire AncC
Place: Newstead

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