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Last Updated: Friday, 6 August, 2004, 08:18 GMT 09:18 UK
Abbey fails in Restoration vote
Newstead Abbey
Parts of Newstead Abbey are crumbling
The former home of poet Lord Byron has failed to win a place in the final of the BBC's Restoration series.

Newstead Abbey, near Nottingham, was one of 21 buildings around the UK featured on the programme, all of which need work to revamp them.

The overall winner of the Restoration programme will get a 2.5m Heritage Lottery grant.

Hundreds of local firms and organisations pledged their support during the Vote for Newstead campaign.

Newstead Abbey was beaten in the Midlands and East vote by Birmingham's Old Grammar School.

Statue of the virgin Mary
A statue of Virgin Mary on the West Front is breaking up
Built as the Priory of St Mary by Henry II, Newstead Abbey originally housed a community of ordained priests who led a monastic life, devoting themselves to worship, study and meditation.

It remained that way for 400 years until Henry VIII gave it to the Byron family.

The last Byron to own the building was the poet who inherited it from his great-uncle, the Wicked Lord.

By then it had been stripped of its contents and was in a state of disrepair and the poet lived in only part of the building.

He shared the abbey with his array of pets including a bear, a wolf, tortoises, dogs and a hedgehog.

In 1817 Byron sold Newstead to Thomas Wildman who spent his fortune restoring the house.

From then it went through a number of owners before ending up in the hands of the City of Nottingham.

The Restoration final is on BBC Two on Sunday 8 August at 2100 BST.




SEE ALSO:
Abbey's stones up for 'adoption'
12 Jul 04  |  Nottinghamshire
Abbey's ancient statue crumbles
07 Jul 04  |  Nottinghamshire
Preserving a national jewel
08 Nov 02  |  England
Byron mansion needs millions
08 Nov 02  |  England


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