Surprise discovery at stately home

VISITORS to Audley End House in Essex, one of England's most magnificent stately homes, can now enjoy two new additions to its collection of works of art and artefacts on display.

VISITORS to Audley End House in Essex, one of England's most magnificent stately homes, can now enjoy two new additions to its collection of works of art and artefacts on display.

An attractive oil painting of Audley End House and Gardens near Saffron Walden has recently been acquired by the Friends of Audley End. The 1945 oil painting shows a view of the house across ploughed lawns that were used to grow food during World War II.

The painting was spotted at an auction in Sussex by local art dealer Miles Cato who instantly recognised the unmistakable outline of Audley End House. Although the painting is signed it has not been possible to decipher the signature and the artist remains unknown.

The wooden frame of the painting also contained a surprise find for English Heritage staff. A tank identification chart used during World War II was found folded up and tucked in behind the wooden frame. Although this doesn't prove that the artist was stationed at Audley End during World War II, it is a reminder of the role played by such houses as part of the war effort.


You may also want to watch:


Neil Cole, Head of Visitor Operations at Audley End House said: "It certainly came as a bit of a surprise to find the tank identification chart tucked in behind the frame and we are delighted that our visitors will now be able to enjoy two new additions to the collection in the restaurant. We would like to extend our thanks to the Friends of Audley End House and Gardens for placing both items to us on loan.”

Charles II's former home is a magnificent example of the sumptuous splendour enjoyed by royalty and the aristocracy in England's grandest country homes and visitors can tour more than 20 lavishly decorated rooms, interiors by Robert Adam and a wonderful collection of paintings and furnishings.

Most Read

The house is set in an 18th century pastoral parkland designed by 'Capability' Brown, which has an artificial lake created with water from the River Cam running through it. There is also a restored 19th century formal parterre garden, with elaborately designed flowerbeds and an organic walled kitchen garden to explore.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter