(active 1603-1616 in Essex)

Exterior view

Audley End House, Essex

Audley End was the most ambitious house of its period in England. In form and scale it was a royal palace in all but name, intended to accommodate royal visitors on their progresses around the country (James I visited twice in 1614). It had symmetrically arranged state apartments for the king and queen occupying the first floor of the inner court and linked by a long gallery.

Audley End is a characteristic example of the Jacobean architecture. The identity of the designer is uncertain, but Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Suffolk (1561–1626), the owner of the estate, played a significant role, and the mason Bernard Janssen directed the realization of the building.

The impressive house that can be seen today is only about a third the size of the vast mansion created in about 1605–14 by Thomas Howard, the other parts were demolished in the 18th century. It retains much of its original character, and contains fine Robert Adam and Jacobean revival interiors. The gardens and landscape, shaped by various owners to complement the house, reflect many changes in English garden fashion.

The photo shows the west front of Audley End, seen across the site of the 17th-century outer lodgings to the great hall and porches.

View the ground floor plan of the building.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.