Delapré Abbey, or more properly, the Abbey of St Mary de la Pré was founded as a monastery of nuns about the year 1145 and belonged to the congregation of the great Abbey of Cluny in Burgundy, France.
After the Battle of Northampton, which was fought on the Abbey grounds to the north of the Abbey and to the south of the River Nene, King Henry VI was captured and spent the night of 10 July 1460 at the Abbey as a prisoner. The nuns tended the wounds of those injured at the battle. Many of the battle-dead were buried in the nuns’ graveyard (now the walled garden).
In 1542 the Tate family purchased the Abbey grounds from the Crown. The Tates lived at Delapré until 1764, when they sold the estate to the Bouverie family. The majority of the present buildings date from this time. The design of the grounds became influenced by the style of Capability Brown. Researchers believe the present walled garden is located on the site of the nuns’ burial ground, as evidence of graves was discovered during the garden’s construction.
What remains today consists of four ranges based around an almost square courtyard; this is probably all that remains of the earlier cloisters, with the passage around the north, west and east sides being the former cloister walks. The thicker walls found in the northern part of the building are probably part of the walls of the church of the abbey. Almost nothing of the medieval buildings remain; two small recesses found in the cloister walk may have been used for keeping candles at night.
Ghosts of Mary Bouverie, nuns and a book keeper are said to haunted the premises.
Lee Dickson, Alex Corbisiero, Ben Foden, Dylan Hartley and Chris Ashton joined the Most Haunted Team seek to unearth the truth behind the hauntings of Delapre Abbey