Rufford Abbey was the subject of the illustrated talk presented to members of the Edwinstowe Historical Society at a recent meeting.
The Abbey was once the home of a group of Cistercian monks, until the dissolution of the monasteries when it came into the possession of the Earls of Shrewsbury and later the Saville family. Down the centuries, changes were made to the structure of the Abbey resulting in a country mansion which was favoured by royalty.
Sadly in 1938 the Abbey was sold, changing hands on several occasions, eventually falling into decay resulting in partial demolition – but today, it is central to a country park, in the ownership of Nottinghamshire County Council, and managed by Parkwood Outdoors in co-operation with English Heritage.
The afternoon closed with a recording made by a former nurse employed for a time to look after Lord and Lady Savile in the late 1920s and 1930s, during which she gave a vivid description of life, upstairs and downstairs, during her stay.
Recently the Society deposited a collection of photos with the Nottinghamshire Archives. These contained images of Sherwood Forest, views of the old Visitors’ Centre, the Robin Hood Festival, and Rufford Abbey. All may be accessed through the Inspire Picture Archive.
Enquiries continue to be received, with the latest from Australia relating to a family member buried in St Mary’s church yard. Another concerned a programme planned for BBC2 television. Information was also provided for local school children to learn more about the village.
No meeting will take place during August. The new programme of talks starts on Wednesday 20th September, when speaker Bob Massey presents ‘Murder, Mystery and Mayhem’.
Meetings are held in the Church Rooms, Mansfield Road, Edwinstowe NG21 9NJ on the third Wednesday of the month at 2.00pm, lasting approximately two hours. Tea, coffee and biscuits are available. The annual subscription is £15.00 (new price from September), and visitors are welcome at a charge of £3.00.