Tourist attraction wishes you an ‘abbey’ Christmas

BACK IN TIME -- staff member Amanda Gibbons as Miss Kitty the upper parlour maid -- DISPIC NHUD11-3351-5
BACK IN TIME -- staff member Amanda Gibbons as Miss Kitty the upper parlour maid -- DISPIC NHUD11-3351-5

CHRISTMAS from the bygone Victorian age was the inspiration for a spectacular transformation of Newstead Abbey to celebrate the festive season.

It wasn’t quite ‘Downton Abbey’, the fictional spectacular that has been such a huge TV hit.

NMAC11-3351-2''Floristry students from New College Nottingham worked with local florists and Nottingham City Museum Learning and Engagement Team to create Christmas at The Abbey which launched this weekend. Johnny Victory and Frances Belle sang carols for visitors.

NMAC11-3351-2''Floristry students from New College Nottingham worked with local florists and Nottingham City Museum Learning and Engagement Team to create Christmas at The Abbey which launched this weekend. Johnny Victory and Frances Belle sang carols for visitors.

But from a giant tree in the Great Hall to floral swags and carols ringing out from some of the historic rooms, the ancestral home of the poet Lord Byron oozed seasonal style.

The event, entitled ‘Christmas At The Abbey’, was making a welcome return after it was axed two years ago to save money.

Vistors revelled in the decorations and tucked into traditional Christmas food at the abbey cafe.

House steward Penny Beniston said: “The house was beautifully decorated for Christmas, with rooms coming to live with seasonal entertainment.

NMAC11-3351-9''Floristry students from New College Nottingham worked with local florists and Nottingham City Museum Learning and Engagement Team to create Christmas at The Abbey which launched this weekend. Anthony Lynch dressed in Lord Byron's cape read inspired writings about themonks garden and Christmas for visitors.

NMAC11-3351-9''Floristry students from New College Nottingham worked with local florists and Nottingham City Museum Learning and Engagement Team to create Christmas at The Abbey which launched this weekend. Anthony Lynch dressed in Lord Byron's cape read inspired writings about themonks garden and Christmas for visitors.

“This was a unique opportunity to catch a glimpse of the splendour of this historic house.”

Floral decorations for the Christmas celebration were created by students from Hucknall College, run by New College Nottingham’s (ncn), on Portland Road.

Displays featured natural materials from the abbey’s grounds and decorated the entrance, cloisters and several rooms.

Floristry lecturer Catherine Hampson said: “This was a great opportunity for the students to decorate a historical venue and to showcase their floristry talents.”