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Delapré Abbey

Delapré Abbey | The Unbelievable 900-Year History

From everyone within the Delapré Abbey team, we hope you are keeping safe. Per government advice, the Abbey, the Orangery café, and Hibiscus are temporarily closed. But we are continuing to work and are putting out lots of content across our website and social media. So keep an eye out.

The Abbey’s grounds remain open so you can enjoy wonderful views during your daily exercise. And we have closed our overflow car park to ensure the grounds are safe and you can practise social distancing easily.

During these times we are asking everybody who loves and enjoys Delapé Abbey to show their support. So please make a difference to the community and Delapre Abbey by selecting Delapré Abbey as your good cause with the Northampton Lottery.

To keep you busy in the meantime we will explore the unbelievable history of Delapré Abbey. This is how the Abbey began and how the beautiful, historic building got where it is today:
The 900-Year History of Delapré Abbey

Originally a nunnery, Delapré Abbey was built in 1145. Over the years it has been occupied and surrendered, destroyed and rebuilt, and is now enjoyed by thousands of people every year. The Abbey has even hosted royalty more than once over the years.

Delapré Abbey hosted King Edward I on his wife’s funeral cortege across the country, from Lincoln to Westminister. Along the way, the King commissioned twelve historic monuments to be built in certain spots along the journey. The Eleanor Cross in Northampton is one of only three to survive until today.


Battles and Wars

Delapré Abbey played a part in a crucial battle during the war of the roses. The war between the house of Lancaster and York. 1460 saw the battle of Northampton between King Henry VI and Edward, the Earl of March.

The king was actually captured not long into the battle and held prisoner within Delapré Abbey overnight. Before being transported to London the next day. The battle of Northampton was also the only battle in the whole war where an attacking army was able to overthrow a defended position. The Yorks capturing the Lancaster position.

Delapré Abbey

Restoration and The Abbey We Know Today

Over 900 years, Delapré Abbey has changed hands on many occasions. From 1546 to 1764, the Abbey was home to the Tate family. This saw many of the historical renovations that turned the Abbey into a domestic building.

One of the biggest changes came later when the Abbey was home to the Bouverie family in 1764. Edwards Bouverie Jnr ordered the library wing to be built. As well as the easting room demolished. The Bouverie family are a mysterious and intriguing part of the Abbey’s colourful history. Something we have explored more during our Downton at Delapré events.

Over the years, Delapré Abbey fell into disrepair. After lots of hard work and resilience from the Northampton Borough Council and Delapré Abbey Preservation Trust (DAPT), the Abbey received the award of a £3.65 million Heritage Lottery Fund grant in 2013. This was the first phase of an ambitious restoration and regeneration plan. And after years of grafting, Delapré Abbey’s incredible history and beautiful views can be explored by everyone once again.

Although we’re temporarily closed for now, if you have any plans that the Abbey could make extra special in the future, get in touch with us today…

Thank for reading this blog, if you have any questions about us or enquires give us a call on 01604 760817 or send us an email on Or feel free to fill in the enquiry form on our contact page today. And please remember, if you decide to exercise around the Abbey’s grounds, keep a safe distance from one another.