On Friday 8th September 45 Members enjoyed an interesting & informative Outing to Audley End House & Gardens in Saffron Walden.
The impressive Jacobean mansion created around 1604_14 by Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Suffolk was built on the scale of a Royal Palace on the site of Walden Abbey & is now a third of its original size &1 of the finest Jacobean houses in England.
An army of staff was needed to keep everything running smoothly & some of rooms are laid out to recreate life above & below stairs.
The nursery has portraits & stories of the children who lived there including toys they would have played with. They were cared for by nursery staff visiting their mother for an hour a day.
The Laundry re-enacted the work involved & showing the linen laid out to dry.
The kitchen & larders full of preserves.
The Dairy for butter & cheese making.
The vast coal stores upstairs for heating water for the family baths.
All made it come alive & to realise what a massive amount of work was involved to keep the Estate running.
The gardens are wonderful with the kitchen garden & the walled garden especially interesting & all surrounded by beautiful Essex countryside.
Now in the care of English Heritage the staff were on hand to talk about the history & the previous owners of the house & the lives of the servants. They were paid & treated well, eating the same food as the family & meat twice a week unusual for those times.
The rain fell at an opportune moment, just in time for coffee & a delicious scone at the Stables Cafe - the cafe in the servants kitchen was also recommended.