DiCamillo Companion

Abington Abbey (Abington Park)

  • House & Family History: Abington is, at its core, a 15th century manor house. The house was once the home of Shakespeare's granddaughter, Elizabeth Bernard, who was buried in the adjacent Church of St. Peter and St. Paul in 1670. Lady Wantage (daughter of Lord Overstone) donated the house and the surrounding park to the people of Northampton for use as a pleasure ground. Abington Abbey served as an insane asylum in the 20th century; it is today a museum of Victorian life.

    Collections: A circa 1780 side table probably commissioned by John Harvey Thursby for Abington was listed for sale for £100,000 in 2022 by the London dealer Ronald Phillips. The English-made giltwood table features hoof feet and a blue-and-white Italian scagliola top in the Neoclassical style of Robert Adam.

  • Architect: Francis Smith

    Date: 1730s
    Designed: Alterations
    (Attribution of this work is uncertain)
    View all houses
  • John Preston (J.P.) Neale, published under the title of Views of the Seats of Noblemen and Gentlemen in England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, among other titles: Vol. III, 1820.

  • House Listed: Grade I

    Park Listed: Not Listed

  • Past Seat / Home of: John Harvey Thursby, 18th century; Thursby family here from 1669 until 1841. Samuel Jones-Loyd, 1st Baron Overstone, 19th century. Harriet Sarah Jones-Loyd, Lady Wantage, 20th century.

    Current Ownership Type: Government

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Museum

    Ownership Details: Today Abington Museum, owned and operated by Northampton Borough Council.

  • House Open to Public: Yes

    Phone: 01604-631-454

    Website: http://www.northampton.gov.uk/museums

    Historic Houses Member: No