Breathtaking: Sarah’s postcard from Newstead Abbey

Sarah at Lord Byron's ancestral home, Newstead Abbey, March 2016

Sarah at Lord Byron’s ancestral home, Newstead Abbey, March 2016

Why I went and what I got out of the experience…

On Sunday, 20 March 2016, I travelled to the poet, George Gordon Lord Byron’s, ancestral home, Newstead Abbey. The drive to the Abbey was absolutely stunning, the afternoon sun shone upon the road ahead of us and passing trains speckled the countryside. I chose this location because Byron was my favourite poet that was read from the Romantic period unit in my survey of British literature. Reading Byron’s “Darkness” and “She Walks in Beauty” was a new experience for me, as I had never taken the opportunity to read Byron before. Upon arriving to Newstead Abbey, it was clear to see how the landscape was able to provide inspiration for Byron’s work. His home, however, contained unexpected surprises upon touring it. As an American student on a study abroad experience, I’ve toured countless castles and Elizabethan estates. Ignorantly, when I first saw Newstead Abbey, I assumed that the interior of the abbey would be as gothic as the exterior. However, I found the tour of Byron’s home to have been an enchanting look into the bygone era of a favourite poet. From the vibrant green of the entrance hall to the intricate Victorian long gallery, Newstead Abbey showcased the true splendour of the age. The real star of my excursion, however, was the surrounding garden. There was a sparkling lake that mirrored the grandeur of the estate. There was a small footpath that lead to a stone structure that allowed a view of the house from across the water. It was absolutely breathtaking to see this monolithic stone structure, coexisting with the nature around it. Taking in the place that had housed one of my new favourite writers was a beautiful experience that will stay with me for me years to come. The house even reminded me of Lord Byron’s poetry itself. Its beauty and unending grace has the ability to inspire current and future generations of literary minds like me, just as it had inspired one of Britain’s greatest romantic poets.

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