May 2024 Update

Denis Hill’s talk at the March meeting of the Edwinstowe Historical Society related to Newstead Abbey and its owners.  In reality it was an Augustinian Priory founded about the year 1170 by King Henry II in atonement of the murder of Thomas a Becket. Following the dissolution of the monasteries, in 1540 Henry viii granted Newstead to Sir John Byron, whose descendants and subsequent owners made changes to the property.

Notable ancestors included “Foul Weather Jack”, “Mad Jack Byron”, “The Wicked Lord”, and “The Devil Byron”, but the most memorable family member was the romantic poet Lord George Gordon Byron, the 6th Baron, born 1788 who died in Greece in 1824.  This year marks the 200th anniversary of his death.

After several changes in ownership, the Abbey is currently owned by Nottingham City Council.   When the lake was dredged in the late eighteenth century the lectern was discovered, having been thrown into the Abbey fishpond by the monks to save it during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and In 1805 was given to Southwell Minster.

Shirley Moore, Chairperson, thanked Denis for his informative talk, and then introduced Terry Ashton who spoke about his duties as a steward in St Mary’s Church, Edwinstowe, which had given him pleasure and a sense of purpose knowing he was performing a worthwhile task talking to the many visitors to the church.  He hoped his comments would spur others to help in a similar way which would enable the church to remain open to visitors.

The Annual General Meeting will be held on 15th May, and will be followed by a DVD evoking memories of the Woodhead family, and several members of the community.