Rufford Abbey and Country Park
Located near Ollerton, on the edge of historic Sherwood Forest, this 150 acre park is one of Nottinghamshire's most popular visitor attractions. At the heart of the park are the picturesque remains of a 12th century Cistercian monastery and later country house. Around them lie gardens, meadow and woodland.
The present day park once formed part of a 12th century Cistercian abbey and its estate. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536, the land and buildings began a slow transformation into a country house estate, owned first by the Talbot and later the Savile families.
One of its most famous owners was the Elizabethan aristocrat and property magnate George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, whose wife 'Bess of Hardwick' later built Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire. Rufford was later purchased by the Savile family of Yorkshire, and eventually became their principle country seat.
The attractions of Rufford range from a contemporary craft centre with gallery exhibitions and 'potters in residence' to peaceful walks around the lake.
The Gallery at Rufford Craft Centre has acquired an international reputation for its varied programme of craft exhibitions and events. The Ceramic Centre was opened in 1998 and has a collection of British studio pottery, a research facility, a library, a retail area and a studio complete with a residency programme.
There's plenty to do all year round at Rufford. Enjoy a tasty cooked lunch in the Victorian-style Savile Restaurant, relax over a coffee in the Coach House Cafe or browse in the Lakeside Garden Shop. Join in one of our regular park events, take the dog for a walk in the woods, or explore the Abbey ruins, said to be one of Nottinghamshire's most haunted spots!.
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