Beaulieu Abbey, Palace & Gardens 22-09-2012
Formerly the 13th century Great Gatehouse of Beaulieu Abbey, Palace House is set in glorious grounds and gardens with immaculate spreading lawns and walkways overlooking the Beaulieu River.
This charming house, kept in the style of its later Victorian additions, has been in Lord Montagu's family ownership since 1538, when Sir Thomas Wriothesley, later 1st Earl of Southampton, bought the Estate after the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
The monastic origins of the House are evident and, once inside, visitors soon succumb to its friendly atmosphere as they view the many splendid and varied family treasures, portraits, photographs and memorabilia. Above all, Palace House remains a family home still lived in by the present Lord Montagu and his family and much loved by them.
Palace House is proud to be one of the Treasure Houses of England, a collection of ten of the most magnificent palaces, houses and castles in England today.
Explore the beautiful gardens at Beaulieu - The name Beaulieu means 'beautiful place' and the gardens certainly live up to the name. They have been well loved by generations of the Montagu family and can now be enjoyed by all our visitors.
Originally the grounds of the Abbey, the gardens have developed into a mixture of formal and informal design and with loving care from our team of gardeners they continue to evolve even today. The varied gardens include the fragrant Victorian Flower Garden with a dedicated rose garden featuring a number of old garden roses, the informal Wilderness Garden where in March and April you will find a mass of snowdrops, crocuses, daffodils and bluebells, the Ornamental Kitchen Garden with its restored 1870’s vine house and the scenic Mill Pond Walk .
Whilst wandering through the gardens look out for the Rufus Memorial Cairn - historical research suggests that King William Rufus who was shot and killed by an arrow in 1100 actually fell here at Beaulieu and not, as is commonly believed, near Minstead some ten miles away. The cairn, made of stone from the Abbey ruins, commemorates this historical murder mystery!
Learn about the lifestyle of the Cistercian monks who founded Beaulieu Abbey in 1204 on land given to them by King John. Wander through the serene Cloisters and Herb garden in which the monks grew a number of aromatic plants for both cooking and medicinal purposes including penny royal and lavender. Although much of the Abbey was destroyed during the reign of Henry VIII, visitors can still learn about the magnificent buildings of the Abbey, originally called Bellus Locus Regis - the beautiful place of the King.