Accessibility

At Delapré Abbey, we’ve worked hard to create a visitor experience that we can all enjoy together.

We’ve taken care to think about how to design and adapt our historic spaces by providing wheelchair accessible lifts and ramps, accessible toilets, and audio induction loops. We have wheelchairs available for visitors to borrow on site and our staff and volunteers can also help by pointing out any tight spaces or uneven floor coverings.

We can also where possible, provide large print guides.

We listen carefully to feedback from our visitors so please do tell us if you think there are ways we can make the site more accessible and enjoyable for you when you visit.

Delapré Abbey is located just 1 mile south of Northampton town centre and is set within the 500 acre grounds of Delapré Park.

Delapré Abbey is based over several levels that are made accessible where possible but there may be restrictions in certain areas due to the buildings’ historical nature. The Walled Garden and external paths around the Abbey are accessible, but the wider parkland has uneven surfaces and unofficial pathways that are not available for all.

We welcome all people to the Abbey and Park regardless of age, physical, intellectual, or sensory ability. We aim to provide the best possible experience for all our visitors through a policy of continuous monitoring and improvement of the facilities and training for our volunteers and staff.

We encourage all our visitors to bring any accessibility issues or concerns at the Abbey to our attention prior to your visit and that, where necessary for your means of escape, that you are accompanied by an able-bodied companion or carer.

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Pre-arrival

Please telephone 01604 760817 and ask to speak with the Visitor Services Manager or Visitor Welcome Supervisor to discuss advance arrangements.

Alternatively email: info@delaprebbey.org

Car Parking and Arrival

We have a spacious car park for visitors and Blue Badge parking bays are provided for the use of Blue Badge holders only. (Disabled Badges must be displayed in your car.)

People without badges and with mobility restrictions may like advance directions and advice before arrival.

We may be able to offer a loan wheelchair to be used to transport anyone unable to manage the walk to the relevant entrance – contact Visitor Services for details and to arrange booking in advance of your visit.

Surfaces and pathways around the car park, the Abbey, and Walled Garden vary from tarmac to gravel to breedon (a type of self-binding gravel). The disabled parking bays are on tarmac. The visitor car park is gravel but on occasion, during busy times, visitors may be directed to park on the grass for overflow.

Dogs are not allowed in the Abbey or catering areas (apart from Assistance Dogs) and they must be kept on leads on paths around the Abbey, Walled Garden, and south lawn.

Public Areas and Getting Around

Wheelchairs: Visitors are welcome to bring their own wheelchairs to Delapré Abbey. However, we would like to mention that some of the external pathways, gravelled areas, and cobbles are uneven and care should be taken when pushing or self-propelling a wheelchair.

Please also note that some doorways and corridors inside the Abbey are relatively narrow but should be able to accommodate walking aids and wheelchairs which have a width less than 70cm (28ins or 2ft4ins). If your wheelchair or walking aid is wider than this, we have 5 wheelchairs available for loan whilst you are visiting the Abbey. These are attendant propelled wheelchairs so you will need a companion to assist you.

All wheelchairs are available for booking in advance or are otherwise on a first come first served basis.

Mobility Scooters and Buggies: The use of mobility scooters and buggies in the Abbey buildings are not permitted and may also pose a hazard to other visitors in some of the more restricted space areas. Any customers unable to access the Abbey should inform the Visitor Welcome staff at the time of booking. Our staff and volunteers will then be able to provide advice about loan wheelchairs (a companion will be required to assist with our wheelchairs).

Visitor Entrance, Ticketing, and Shop (Stable Block)

The Stable Block provides the main visitor entrance, with access to the Stable Rooms and Battlefield Rooms, the second of which is found on the first floor (with platform lift access).

The main Visitor Welcome area is on the ground floor and is fully accessible. There are lowered sections of the ticket desk for ease of use.

A platform lift provides access to the upper levels, including a unisex accessible WC (upper ground floor or up 3 steps) and to the Battlefield Rooms and other facilities on the first-floor level.

There are some restricted width passageways on the upper ground floor level which are not possible to alter due to the existing building. Plus, there are also some narrower doors e.g. 71cm (28ins or 2ft4ins).

A person with a disability is required to purchase a standard admission ticket. A carer or companion is given free entry and a carers’ ticket will be issued at the entry point.

The route to the Stable Block (main visitor entrance and ticket office) from the accessible parking area is approximately 150m (495ft or 165yds).

The Stable Rooms (Stable Block – Upper ground floor level)

Entry to the Stable Rooms is through the Visitor Welcome area. It involves climbing 3 wide steps or use of the platform lift. However, in case of an emergency visitors will need to navigate the stairs at either side of the Stable Block or get to the safe places of refuge where staff/volunteers will assist with visitor evacuation.

There are some restricted width doorways in the Stable Rooms e.g. 70.5cm (28ins or 2ft 4ins) in this area.

The Battlefield Rooms (Stable Block – First floor level)

Entry to the Battlefield Rooms is through the Visitor Welcome area. It involves climbing a narrow set of stairs or use of a platform lift. However, in case of an emergency visitors will need to use the stairs or if this is not possible, visitors should get to the safe places of refuge where staff/volunteers will assist with your evacuation. We do advise however, that you assess your navigation to and from the first floor.

There is good access and an internal ramp with handrails into the main Battlefield Room.  The ramp has a gradient of 1:18.

The temporary exhibition space has some restricted width doorways e.g. 70.5cm (28ins or 2ft 4ins). There are also some high thresholds to some of the doors e.g. 2cm (¾in) – 8.5cm (3½ins). It is sadly not possible to alter these features due to the historic nature of the building.

The maximum capacity upstairs in the Stable Block is 60 persons and will be managed by volunteers/staff.

The Medieval Rooms

The main entrance to the Abbey provides the visitor access to further heritage spaces (the Medieval Rooms – ground floor, Bouverie Rooms – upper ground floor, Nine Rooms – first floor, and meeting and conference facilities – first floor (with platform lift access).

The Medieval Rooms are on the entrance level of the Abbey with an internal ramp with a gradient of 1:18. There is also a platform lift from here up to the Nine Rooms (first floor).

There are some restricted width doorways in the Medieval Rooms, the narrowest being approximately 70cm ((28ins or 2ft 4ins).

There are also some high thresholds and single steps into some of the rooms ranging from approximately 1cm (½in) to 14cm (5½ins). Where feasible, threshold ramps are provided. A clearly signed corridor can bypass some of the narrow doors while still allowing access to some of the rooms.

There are no WC facilities on this level.

The external route from the Stable Block to the main entrance to the Abbey is approximately 80m (262ft or 87yds).

The route to the main entrance into the Abbey from the accessible parking area is approximately 165m (540ft or 180yds).

The Bouverie Rooms (Upper ground floor level)

A flight of wide steps and a scissor lift provides access to the Bouverie Rooms on the upper ground level from the Abbey main door. Another route consists of a set of 11 steps up to the Bouverie Rooms from the Medieval Rooms.

There is a unisex accessible WC opposite the Dining Room on the upper ground floor.

There are good width passageways and doors on the upper ground floor level.

There is a stepped fire exit route from the Salon onto the South Lawn where a portable ramp can be provided if or when necessary.

Nine Rooms (First floor level)

The Nine Rooms is potentially the most difficult to provide good access to and from.

There is either a spiral stair, set of steps, or a platform lift to provide access. However, in case of an emergency visitors will need to use the stairs or if this is not possible, visitors should get to the safe places of refuge where staff/volunteers will assist with your evacuation. We do advise however, that you assess your navigation to and from this first floor.

There are no WC’s provided on this level.

There are some narrow doorways, narrow corridors (cuckoo passage), and internal steps that cannot be removed or bypassed. The narrowest doorway to be negotiated is approximately 71cm (28ins or 2ft4ins) and there are some relatively high thresholds.

The cuckoo passage is only approximately 82cm (32½ins or 2ft8½ins) wide and has a crossfall that could make it difficult to manage without assistance. There is also a relatively narrow (98cm, 38½ins or 3ft2½ins) steep (1:10) ramp in the corridor and a door which opens onto the landing at the top of the ramp.

One of the rooms has an internal ramp with a gradient of approximately 1:15 and another of the rooms has a set of 4 steps into it with no alternative access due to the nature of the building. It is not feasible to provide handrails to these steps.

Morning Tours

Tours are available every day between 10am-12pm starting from outside the Visitor Welcome area (additions or cancellations of tours are at the discretion of the Trust). Tours are bookable on the day ONLY from the Visitor Welcome area and are not suitable for mobility scooters/electric wheelchairs or buggies. The tour involves one flight of stairs involving 11 steps. Wheelchair users and those with walking aids are advised to use the scissor lift in order to access the second part of the tour and one of our guides will be able to assist you. Seating is available at points along the tour route.

The Coach House – Education and Community room

The main area is on one level and a unisex wheelchair accessible WC is provided. The kitchen facilities are on a lower level and due to the restricted space available there is stair only access to the kitchen facilities.

The route to the Coach House from the accessible parking area is approximately 140m (460ft or 153yds).

The Meeting Rooms – Conference facilities (Upper first and second floor levels)

The Abbey’s main staircase and a platform lift provide access to the Meeting Rooms from the Bouverie Rooms landing.

There is no unisex accessible WC on this level. The nearest is opposite the Dining Room on the upper ground floor.

There is a kitchenette provided for delegates, however the door into the kitchenette is narrow (only approximately 67cm, 26½ins or 2ft2½ins) and wheelchair users may require assistance to use the facilities.

There are steps up to some of the meeting rooms, although portable ramps will be provided wherever possible. There are no handrails to the steps.

The Walled Garden

The Walled Garden is accessible to all visitors and is situated on one level with even tarmac pathways throughout. This is suitable for wheelchairs, mobility scooters, and buggies. There is seating at intervals.

Garden tours are available at certain times throughout the year. Please ask in the Visitor Welcome area for more information.

The route to the Walled Garden from the accessible parking area is rough in places with some puddles when it is wet. The route is approximately 120m (390ft or 130yds).

Public Toilets

Male and Female toilets are available in the 18th Century Stable Block Courtyard (on the opposite side of the building to the Visitor Welcome area). These are accessible to all visitors to the Abbey as well as park users.

Disabled toilets are located in the following locations:

  • One unisex WC inside the 18th Century Stable Block (inside the pay barrier)
  • One unisex WC inside the Abbey opposite the Dining Room (The Bouverie Rooms)
  • One in the catering area (accessed via a scissor lift)

Baby Changing Facilities:

  • One inside the 18th Century Stable Block (inside the pay barrier)
  • One in the catering area (accessed via a scissor lift or set of steps)

Catering

There are some slopes constructed to allow entrance and exit to the catering area and some visitors may require assistance from their companion. These are gently sloping ramps, or you can navigate a single step.

The serving counter is at an accessible height.

There is a unisex accessible WC accessed using a scissor lift (and stairs) from the café.  The lift has been programmed to be slow for safety reasons so larger groups with disabilities may wish to organise the toilet breaks taking this into account.

There is also a baby changing facility and standard toilets.

The route from the Walled Garden to the catering area is approximately 47m (155ft or 51yds).

The external route from the accessible parking area to the café is approximately 240m (788ft or 262yds).

The external route from the main entrance to the Abbey to the café is approximately 90m (295ft or 98yds).