Taking tea at Stoneleigh?

REFRESHING views of Stoneleigh Abbey painted by Warwickshire people will greet visitors when the historic house reopens to the public today (Friday).

Last year the charitable trust that owns the former monastery and stately home held an art competition to make the ornate mansion a more familiar sight.

The winners were Mary Woods and Sally Harman and Mary Woods’ painting of the abbey’s west wing will be used on a mug, while 17-year-old Sally Harman’s painting Afternoon tea please, and I’ll sit there - a view through a window of the orangery tea room towards the south wing - will be used on its menu.

The abbey, later owned by the Leigh family, has gardens designed by landscape architect Humphrey Repton.

Novelist Jane Austen visited relatives there and is believed to have based elements of Northanger Abbey and Sotherton Court in Mansfield Park on the house.

The mansion was badly damaged in a fire in the 1950s, but opened to the public following restoration work. The abbey grounds will be open from 10.30am to 5pm. Tours cost £8. Admission to the grounds only costs £3.50.

Related topics: