Abington Park Museum

Standing in the middle of Northampton’s oldest park, Abington Park Museum is a Tudor manor house dating back to 1485. The building has seen several different uses over the years, including a domestic residence, asylum and museum.

The building was built and originally owned by John Bernard, and was home to several generations of the family over the following 200 years, including Elizabeth Bernard, who was the grand-daughter of William Shakespeare, and lived in the house during the 17th century. The manor house then passed into the possession of the Thursby’s, who lived in the building until 1841, when financial problems resulted in the house being auctioned off.

In 1845, the building was turned into an asylum, known as Abington Abbey, run by Doctor Thomas Octavius Pritchard. Conditions in the asylum are not believed to have been overly cruel or unpleasant, however it has been reported that during this time two patients hung themselves. Over the years, guests have reported feelings of great sadness and distress in the area where the bodies were discovered.

Abington Abbey asylum closed its doors in 1892, and the manor house and park surrounding it were given to the people of Northampton. The building was re-opened as a museum, and gradually developed into what we see today. The museum is a disorientating maze of rooms and corridors, with a very eerie, unsettling atmosphere.

Precisely who or what haunts the building is a mystery – very few investigations have been carried out at this location in the past – so you have the opportunity to step into the unknown and be one of the first to investigate this mysterious 500 year old manor house.

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Address: Abington Park Museum Park Avenue South Northampton NN1 5LW

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