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Friends of Audley End is a membership organisation to support the work of English Heritage in the conservation, preservation and maintenance of Audley End House.

Audley End House, on the outskirts of Saffron Walden in Essex, was originally built in 1605 by Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Suffolk. It has seen many changes over the centuries, but took on its present shape in 1784-6. 

In 1762 Capability Brown was commissioned to landscape the parkland and Robert Adam designed new reception rooms on the ground floor of the house in the style of the 18th Century with a formal grandeur.

The house was requisitioned in 1941 and eventually handed over to the Special Operations Executive. It was used as a general holding camp and latterly for its Polish branch who were trained here before being parachuted into occupied Poland.

The house was sold to the Ministry of Works, the predecessor to English Heritage, in 1948 by the ninth Lord Braybrooke.

Visiting Audley End

Audley End will be open from 4 July.

Under the current restrictions you now need to book timed-tickets in advance to visit Audley End. If you’re a member of the Friends your ticket will be free, but you still need to book in advance.

When booking you will need to go to the Member and Corporate Admission page and then select the CORPORATE - MEMBER ADMISSION option. Just enter your membership number as it appears on your card and fill in all of the details as requested on the form. You will be given a booking reference and sent a confirmation email. 

Please remember to take your membership card(s) with you when you then visit.

Offer to members

English Heritage are holding a Welcome Back taster slot on the 3rd July from 3pm-5pm where you will have an opportunity to be the first to walk the new one-way route before reopening to the general public. Places are filled on a first come first serve basis and is open to the Friends of Audley End and Staff and Volunteers. A very small number of members of the Friends can be accommodated in this visit. If you would like to be included, send an email to the Hon. Secretary (details can be found in your newsletter). Applicants must have an up-to-date paid subscription.


Members should ensure that they have provided their email address to the committee to receive future information.