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WELBECK ABBEY

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Site of a Premonstratensian Abbey which was founded in 1153-54 and dissolved in 1538. Following its Dissolution the abbey and its its grounds were incorporated into a private residence which by 1607 was under the ownership of Sir Charles Cavendish, who commissioned Robert Smythson to redesign the house. Only a few changes were implemented. Additional changes, including the reconstruction of the south wing and remodelling of the west wing, took place between 1741-52 by John James. Alterations to the east front were made in 1764-65 by John Carr of York and in 1790 the west front was remodelled by Humphry Repton. During the 1860s the south wing was rebuilt and a series of underground rooms and a glass-roofed conservatory connected by tunnels were built. After a fire of circa 1900 the south wing was remodelled by Sir Ernest George.

The house is L-shaped on plan with an entrance front the west. The entrance front is of two storeys with three-storey towers at each end and a central four-storey pedimented entrance with a Baroque-style porte-cochere. To the south is the the three-storey Oxford Wing. Chapel Court, an extension of the entrance front, curves northwest to the rectangular chapel and library wing.

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