The Abbey was founded as a monastic house in the late 12th century, and to this day the house retains much of its medieval character. The most famous survival is the iconic West Front of the church that dates from the late 13th century and is now a scheduled ancient monument. Inside the house the medieval cloisters, Chapter House (now the Chapel) and a collection of medieval stone carvings and manuscripts enable visitors to discover the Abbey's early history.
The Poet Byron
Heralded by many as the greatest romantic poet of his time, Lord Byron lived at Newstead Abbey at various times from the autumn of 1808 to the autumn of 1814. Visitors may visit the Abbey to discover the Byron collection. The collection includes:
- Objects and furniture which belonged to the poet
- Letters written by Byron
- Manuscripts and portraits of Byron, his family and friends
- The poet's magnificent giltwood bed, which Byron brought with him from his student rooms in Cambridge when he moved into Newstead Abbey
- Byron's very own pistol and the desk at which he wrote much of his poetry